By Luke Satisky
Woman Suffrage Movement
Different people tried different ways to get women's voting rights. Women such as Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton took a radical approach to getting suffrage. They did not want men to have leadership and they were against the 15th amendment. Lucy Stone, Henry Blackwell, and Julia Ward Howe had a more moderate method. They still wanted suffrage, but they included men, and supported the 15th amendment
In 1918, President Wilson was pressured to support suffrage. He suggested the 19th amendment, which would give women the right to vote. It passed both houses of Congress in 1919. On August 26, 1920, the 19th amendment was ratified. American women had finally won the right to vote.
Story Of Suffragist In Jail
Ernestine Hara Kettler: After we were sentenced, we were taken directly to the city jail, and that’s where we cooked up our political-prisoner demand. We were political prisoners. We were not guilty of obstructing traffic. We were not guilty of the sentence as charged. And, therefore, we did not owe any kind of work in the workhouse, because that workhouse was a real workhouse. You worked or else. So we didn’t work, so we were or-elsed. And that’s the beginning of the real fight at the workhouse. And the jail, when we were there overnight and taken during that evening, we made all this decision. We were not going to work. We were going to ask all the other women already, the suffrage women already in jail, to accept our decision, and whatever happened, happened, you know.
Sherna Gluck: There were already a group in when you went in then.
Kettler: There was already. . .there was a group of either nine or twelve women. I do not remember. It was in between. Either we made twelve women or we made sixteen women. It seemed like a rather large crowd to me, so I think that we made the sixteen women when we got there.
Now I’m giving you the real story of the prison experience. When we got there, we had an immediate discussion with the other women and told them our decision. And they were very enthusiastic about it. They accepted it without question.
So the next day, we appeared in the workroom and we just sat there with our hands in our laps. I don’t know when the superintendent began to talk to us, but it wasn’t long before he asked, would we at least please hold the work in our lap, that we were demoralizing the other prisoners in that workroom. What we were making, I suppose, were sack dresses for the prisoners, because that’s all we wore, were just sack dresses. And then we said no, that since we decided that we were unjustly arrested, that we were political prisoners, that it would be just as wrong for us to hold the work in our hands as it was for us to sew it, that we were going to abide by our decision and that we had to be respected as political prisoners.
Well, this went on for 26 days.