Official Program--Woman Suffrage Procession. Cover illustration by Dale for the National American Woman Suffrage Association parade, Washington, D.C., March 3, 1913. LOT5541. Prints and Photographs Division. LCUSZC4 -2996.
The dramatic flair of the program's cover shows vividly the organizers' intent to draw attention to their momentous event. The cover also displays recurring motifs of the U.S. suffrage movement-the herald sounding a horn, the motto "Votes for Women," and the colors purple, gold, and white. Such imagery was easily recognized by the general public and served as unifying symbols for those within the suffrage movement.
Suffrage Parade 3/3/13 [Inez Milholland Boissevain]. Photograph, March 3, 1913. George Grantham Bain Collection (LOT 11052-2). Prints and Photographs Division. LCUSZ62 -77359.
Mirroring the cover of the program, lawyer Inez Milholland rode astride as the first of four mounted heralds. In her short life she shared with many of her fellow marchers a commitment to social reform. She joined organizations striving to improve the working conditions of children and the lives of African Americans. She was also a strong supporter of the shirtwaist and laundry workers. Three years after the parade, she collapsed and died at age thirty during a western suffrage lecture tour.
Florence F. Noyes as "Liberty" in Suffrage Pageant. Photograph, March 3, 1913. George Grantham Bain Collection (LOT 11052-2). Prints and Photographs Division. LCUSZ62 -70382.
According to the Washington Post, twenty thousand people fought madly for position near the Treasury Building to watch the allegorical pageant on the ideals toward which women and men have struggled through the ages. Florence Noyes, an interpretive dancer who participated in the Greek revival movement, arranged the dances for the allegory and played the role of Liberty. It is unlikely that the performers recognized the irony in women dressing themselves as abstract concepts and imitating the generic use of the female figure so often portrayed by male artists.
Winsor McCay. "Suffrage March Line." Drawing for the New York Evening Journal, March 4, 1913, p. 2, col. 4. News MF 1945. Serial and Government Publications Division.
An artist's sketch shows orderly crowds lining the avenue as the carefully organized procession marches by. Alice Paul and her committee had less than three months to plan the event and to arrange for women from countries with women's suffrage to join groups of American women representing different occupations. Despite diligent preparation, unruly crowds were to destroy the neat symmetry of the parade.
Rea Irvin. "Ancient History." Cover illustration from Life, February 20, 1913; AP101.L6. General Collections.
In suffrage cartoons women are often the aggressors, but on the day of the parade it was the men who threatened and harangued the women. The central figure resembles a classicized Susan B. Anthony in a liberty cap with anachronistic glasses and umbrella. Many of the illustrations in this "Husbandette's Number" depict large, fierce women with small, weak men.
Eliz. Freeman enrout to Wash'n. Photograph, February 17, 1913. George Grantham Bain Collection (LOT 11052-2). Prints and Photographs Division. LC-USZ62-53218.
Dressed as a gypsy, with her yellow cart and "Newark bargain" horse, Elizabeth Freeman was one of the most popular and colorful of the New York hikers. She used the wagon as a speaker's platform and to carry pamphlets supporting women's suffrage.
Woman's Journal and Suffrage News, March 8, 1913. Front page. JK1881.N357, sec. 1, no. 50 NAWSA. Rare Book and Special Collections Division.
The organizers designed the parade to be visually effective and to attract national media attention, but it was actions of men and the inaction of police that elicited much of the press coverage with newspapers crying "Suffragists and the Mob" and "Huge Mob Blocks Suffrage Parade." Unruly crowds may have disrupted the procession, but they led to more and longer news stories and won sympathy for the cause.
James Donahey. Gen. Rosalie Jones crossing the Delaware. Cartoon drawing for the Cleveland Plain Dealer, February 15, 1913. Prints and Photographs Division. LC-USZ62-55985.
The women's campaign was a source of many cartoons--for and against suffrage--in newspapers and magazines throughout the country. In this favorable image, General Rosalie Jones, who led the New York hikers to Washington, is likened to General George Washington leading his troops through dangerous waters to his victory against enemy forces. Support for suffrage divided many families, often along generational lines--Jones's mother, Mrs. Oliver Livingston Jones, greeted her daughter on her arrival in Washington, but she was planning an anti-suffrage automobile tour for that summer.
Background Image: "Exhibit no. 36." Halftone photograph from Suffrage Parade, Hearings (Washington: GPO, 1913; JK1888 1913b), opposite p. 502. General Collections.
A copy of one of the many photographs entered as evidence of the misbehavior of the crowds during the suffrage procession appeared in the report on the Senate inquiry. Parade supporters demonstrated that the police had not kept the route clear and that the women were in danger.