Photographs from the Records of the National Woman's Party

Brief Timeline of the National Woman's Party


 For more information on these and other NWP-related events, including links to additional images, see the Detailed Chronology (PDF).*


Jan. - CU opens “freedom booth” at Panama Pacific International Exposition in San Francisco.

Jan. 12 - House of Representatives votes for first time on federal woman suffrage amendment, defeating the measure.

Mar. 31 - CU National Advisory Council adopts a constitution and restructures CU officially as national organization.

A crowd of women descending stairs outside a building
descriptive record icon enlarge image icon  [Detail] Members of NWP Advisory Council leave meeting at Peg Woffington Coffee House, New York. March 31, 1915.

Apr.-Dec. - CU, despite objections from NAWSA, sends organizers to all states to plan conventions and establish state branches.

Sept. 14-16 - CU organizes first Woman Voters Convention with delegates from suffrage states. At Panama Pacific International Exposition, 500,000 signatures collected on suffrage petition. Suffrage envoys selected to transport petition cross-country to Congress and President Wilson.

Sept. 25 - Suffrage envoys Sara Bard Field and Frances Joliffe leave San Francisco by automobile.

Three women standing in front of a car
descriptive record icon enlarge image icon  Suffrage envoy Sara Bard Field (left) and her driver, Ingeborg Kinstedt (center), and machinist, Maria Kindberg (right), during their cross-country journey to present suffrage petitions to Congress, September-December 1915.

Dec. 6-13 - First national convention of CU held in Washington, D.C. Coincides with opening of 64th Congress and arrival of suffrage envoys.

Dec. 6 - Procession of 2,000 women escort western women voters arriving in Washington, D.C., to U.S. Capitol for reception by congressional deputation. President Wilson meets with smaller delegation. Federal woman suffrage amendment introduced in House of Representatives.

Women on horseback and women walking near the U.S. Capitol
descriptive record icon enlarge image icon  Procession of 2,000 women, including groups of women voters from the western states, march to U.S. Capitol to be received by a deputation from Congress. December 6, 1915.

Dec. 7 - Federal woman suffrage amendment introduced in Senate.

Dec. 16 - CU members testify at hearing on federal woman suffrage amendment before House Judiciary Committee.

Dec. 17 - CU and NAWSA make last, failed attempt at reconciliation.



Jan. - Women’s Political Union of New York, under leadership of Harriot Stanton Blatch, ends operations and merges with CU.

Apr. 9 - “The Suffrage Special”— 23 CU members leave Washington, D.C., on five-week train tour to garner support for federal woman suffrage amendment among women voters.

Map of the U.S. showing routes of C.U. envoys with an inset portrait of Alice Paul
descriptive record icon enlarge image icon  Map showing the route of Congressional Union envoys sent to appeal to the voting women of the West aboard the “Suffrage Special.” April-May 1916.

May 16 - Resolutions from women voters of the West presented to assembled body of senators and congressmen in Capitol Rotunda ceremony.

June 5-7 - National Woman’s Party (NWP), also briefly known as Woman’s Party of Western Voters, formed in Chicago at convention of women voters organized by CU. NWP and CU coexist as complementary organizations until official merger in Mar. 1917.

Aug. 10-12 - At meeting in Colorado Springs, NWP decides not to endorse either candidate during upcoming presidential campaign but to oppose all Democratic congressional candidates on policy of “holding the party in power responsible” for failure to pass suffrage amendment.

Aug.-Oct. - NWP and CU send organizers into 12 states where women can vote to lobby for federal woman suffrage amendment and oppose Democratic Party candidates.

A donkey wearing a suffrage sign on its back
descriptive record icon enlarge image icon  [Detail] Campaigning against the Democratic Party in Colorado. October-November 1916.

Oct. 20 - NWP members attacked by mob while demonstrating against Woodrow Wilson outside Chicago auditorium.

Three women, one holding a flag
descriptive record icon enlarge image icon  Inez Milholland Boissevain (center) as she begins her last speaking trip, October 1916.

Oct. 23 - NWP organizer Inez Milholland Boissevain collapses on stage giving speech in Los Angeles against President Wilson and Democratic Party.

Nov. 7 - President Woodrow Wilson reelected by narrow margin.

Nov. 25 - Boissevain dies of pernicious anemia at age 30, widely regarded as first martyr of American women’s suffrage campaign.

Dec. 5 - NWP members demonstrate silently with banner unfurled during President Wilson’s annual address to Congress.

Dec. 25 - Memorial service for Boissevain held in Statuary Hall, U.S. Capitol. Resolutions drafted for presentation to President Wilson.

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