tv Discussion on Womens Suffrage and the Temperance Movement CSPAN May 17, 2015 11:15am-12:46pm EDT
throughout the weekend, american history tv is featuring fort lauderdale, florida. our cities tour staff winter to learn its rich history -- went there to learn its rich history. >> up next, a panel of scholars discusses how the late 20th century temperance and suffrage movements complement each other. this event is about 1.5 hours. [applause] >> thank you, tom. it's wonderful to be here again this evening.
i would say, happy women's history month. i will say instead, happy very last hours of women's history month. we are delighted to be here tonight. i hope some of you have taken the opportunity to see the exhibit upstairs. it's absolutely fantastic. i hope that you can take a look at the wonderful archive and the museum that we have on the corner of second and constitution. our program tonight will allow us to talk in greater detail about the intersections between temperance and suffrage. they are a little bit hazy in history. what we have found as we have been preparing for this is that there is not a whole lot of recent scholarship on this. the track we decided to take was to look at the women themselves. it was the women whose thoughts and origins and what they were fighting for, for their families
and their nation, went into the organizations they were able to move forward and that became the movement themselves. we will talk a little bit about the way the women galvanized for social, economic and political change. by the mid-1880's, excessive alcohol conception and domestic violence against women was a serious problem. the temperance issue was of concern to many women who felt the widespread alcoholism caused detrimental effects to the family and to married life particularly because married women have few legal rights or remedies. while the legal right to vote was the ultimate goal for the women, over the next 70 years, there were many areas of overlap between temperance and suffrage, including improved working conditions or wage earning women , the need for a strong public education system and full political equality. these reform movements can be seen as a fascinating study of
the individual who participated in both movements and the organizations they created. tonight, we will focus on a small group of women leaders including frances willard, many dillard, francis harper and alice hall. they enabled a whole nation of women together and unite and work to bring change to our nation. tonight, we will hear from -- lorie osborne and christina myers. we will move right into the moderated part of this discussion. we are going to be a few minutes behind, so i will start with chris. if you could talk about the early influence in alice hall's life.
what about her upbringing and her family could have influenced her later on as she became a reformer in her own light? kris: she was a quaker, but she was -- she was following her family, who advocated getting away from the materialism of life and getting back to nature and getting back to the morals of humanity. they were the abolitionists, they tended to get into suffrage -- they tend to be the activists or reformers. her mother was a suffragist. she was brought to her first suffrage meetings in her hometown in new jersey. we know that had some influence, but is not until her 20's when she becomes involved in suffrage. what quakerism did for her, she
grew up in a small quaker community, completely quaker in southern new jersey. she grew up with the idea that men and women are equal. they had active roles to play in life and the community. she grew up with a sense of social dd -- duty. that is something she took seriously. she grew up with the principle of nonviolence. as a quaker, all of these principles and more are part of her daily life. it's something she grew up with something she practiced at school. she went to swarthmore college later on when to penn, but particularly swarthmore, these principles were ingrained in her daily life.
this constant equality, the sameness of everyone around is interesting because it is when she works in the settlement movement, later working as a social worker that she steps outside of that quaker bubble. that does have an impact on her in new york and later on in london. that's really what's going to help her to become a suffragist, when she realizes that life is not so equal outside of the quaker community. she starts to see what women are experiencing in some of these communities that she sees in new york and london. as a quaker, this principle of equality sounds so big, but it's
something that even at the age of 92, she still talks about that concept of equality and how ordinary it is and how much she believes in it. that's ultimately what brought her into the women's suffrage movement and made her a lifelong activist for women and equality. >> we will talk more as we move forward about the single-mindedness of alice and a lot of the other women as well. can you give us a bit of background on the institute? >> it was founded -- we are 30 years old this year. we were founded back in 1985. it is at her home in new jersey. she called it the home farm. the house has been preserved
not as a historic museum, but as a women's history center and a girls leadership development center. she would have wanted this would not have wanted a museum in her name. she would have wanted us to do something active for the cause of equality. we need to preserve her name and we need people to remember who she is. we do have a museum in her honor, but we also have our girls leadership development center and that is the heart of what we do. we work with girls middle school through high school and beyond and we have a series of programs. a summertime career focused program. and a girls advisory council that meets once a month. if alice were alive, she would like to see that kind of
activity happening at her home. >> a fantastic place for those who have not been. it's absolutely beautiful. if you could tell us a little bit about some of the women you will be talking about tonight and their origins and how they got started and why you think that had such an impact on the work they had done as they moved forward. >> my work is on african-american women suffragists. the various other movements that connected with this average movement -- the suffrage movement. in the 19th century, ending with the 1920's -- for today's activity, decided to focus on the 19th century black suffragists who were also temperance advocates. one of the most important ones is marianne chad kerry, along with francis harper. they are regional people. d.c. and baltimore. harper was born in baltimore in
a free black neighborhood. you have to understand there were two types of black populations in the 19th century. the free blacks and the enslaved blacks. the enslaved blacks might have nominally gained their freedom in the civil war era, but they were mostly uneducated, they were rural people. unless they were given a handout -- it was often the free black community that came in and did that. churches, ministers did also. many of the women learned about temperance in church. but organizing was something
else. it was the formally free black women that had the education and the knowledge to organize. marianne chad kerruy was a good example of that. she went to law school at howard university. she became a lawyer and then worked for the federal government. and eventually developed the colored women's progressive union. they did a variety of things including promote women's suffrage. but temperance was an important part of that as well. another woman who i thought was interesting was mimi dillard who came from -- i can't remember if she was from kansas or indiana. i always have to check. i look at the movements rather than where the people are from. i will tell you in a minute. she was from lawrence, kansas. she was involved in temperance
work in the 1890's. she organized several activities. the main thing she did was to promote the women's christian temperance union, which had segregated units. my girl did it. throughout the u.s., whether in the north or south, you belonged to a racially segregated unit. mimi had to give them credit because they can provide the movement that allowed african-american women to organize among themselves. she was an important person in this. another woman was marianne mccurdy from indiana.
you see, these are not all southern women. the only one who was almost southern but not really quite is francis harper, from baltimore. baltimore does not consider themselves south, but maryland was a slaveholding state. mccurdy was very interested in not only women's suffrage, but temperance. one of the things she said was once we get the vote, we can work on legislation to provide temperance. in temperance is killing us all. that was an important thing. for many poor people, whether you were black or white or whatever, you drowned your pain and liquor. it might be emotional, it might
be physical. you might work so hard that you came home and all you wanted to do was go to the bar or take a bottle -- it's the same thing now with a lot of people. they were very important as grassroots leaders. harper, however, becomes the superintendent of colored work for the wctu. even on a national level, it was segregated. you had to have a black woman to supervise the black organizations nationwide. you have to understand that no matter where we are, this whole question of race comes up whether it's 19th century or today. they found ways to overcome it. to do the kinds of things they needed to do to help people in their own communities.
this was important. the women in the churches -- most of the organizers would go to the black churches and start the movement rolling their. that was a very good strategy. they tied it together. it's not only a moral and parity -- imperative, it was a political movement as well. you are not going to end abusive alcohol unless you have a political way of doing it. they combined the political and the moral in that movement. >> this is a good place for you to pick up. i would like to hear about evanston and the frances willard house and the intersection of morality and temperance in politics. lorie: first of all, i'm very happy to be here. i'm not the current president of the frances willard historical -- i'm a past president.
not a big change, but i am the current director of the evanston project which connects me to the frances willard house and the wctu archive the willard house is a wonderful, amazing museum -- you can't find an earlier house museum that tells the story of a woman's life in the united states or in the world. a very early historic house -- the wctu's records, their national organization, a worldwide organization, all of their records are there. it is fun to come and tell their story. frances willard fell between these two groups of women. she is one or two generations earlier than alice. born in 1839. the generation after the first wave of the suffragists in the u.s. the generation before her -- her mother's generation.
she doesn't grow up in a very progressive household. her mother was a very progressive person and really encouraged francis to take on whatever she wanted to do. her father was traditional. in some ways, her early life and the sense of limitation about what she could do because she was a girl really set her in motion. those early moments where she is noticing that her brother gets to go to school and she is not allowed to go to public school until she is almost ready to go to college. she is educated at home.
she wonders why. there is a great moment -- she traces the story of her evolution in suffrage to very early in her life. she does it later in her life, but she was way back and recalls a time when her brother goes to vote with her father and she says to her sister, mary, don't we love our country just as much as they do? her sister says to her, yes, we do, but we cannot say anything because we will be thought to be strong-minded. there is this sense, she has this internal sense of the injustice, the inequality she faces just because she is a girl. there is no other reason.
it comes very early in her life and stays with her. she doesn't become vocal about it until years later. it is her exposure to the outside world -- she travels to, has a career -- to europe, has a career, gets informed about the question, the way they phrased it in the mid-19th century, she starts to go this is where my calling is, in figuring out the women question. what do we do about women's equality? then, the temperance movement. it explodes. the 1870's in the u.s. with the crusades documented in the
exhibit where women are taking to the streets and protesting, praying and singing and begging -- it's the problems of alcohol in their little towns. willard has watched the temperance movement from afar. her parents are methodist. methodism and temperance go together. she is not involved with it. she is more in the women question. when the women's movement and temperance movement come together, she says, ok, i now see the possibility.
she sees the possibility for vast numbers of women to get out of their houses and do something. they might not do it for the individual -- they deserve to vote or those kinds of things. they will become activists if it's something about protecting their homes and their families from a scourge like alcohol. she sees an opportunity, connecting the two ideas is going to get -- is going to create change in a big way. that is willard's background and how she got to the whole concept of temperance and the women's question, connecting the two ideas. we were talking about -- the
question you asked me was about politics. >> the intersection between, yes. what made them move towards the political side of the issue? they knew that was how they would bring about change. lorie: after the crusades come to a close -- >> what was the number? an astonishing number of women. lorie: 250,000 in 1890. the largest organization of women in the 19th century. becomes a worldwide organization . you cannot work for the vote in every country because even men
don't have the vote in every country. frances willard has her do everything policy. she really means it. temperance is in everything and everything is in temperance. they are a comprehensive reform organization. she dies in 1898 before the real push towards suffrage in the 20th century. she falls in that earlier generation. going back to the start of the wctu, they call it the gospel temperance. persuading people to change individually. their alcohol use. persuade those saloon owners to close their doors and individually get people finding -- assigning the temperance pledge.
willard is an officer in the wctu. she becomes president in 1879, the second president. she takes it from that gospel, moral persuasion and the moral issue -- it still exists, but she shifts it and it becomes much more about politics and gaining the boat and changing things on a much grander scale. -- gaining the vote. they keep everything while they are evolving and changing. >> interesting. we were talking about alice. i mentioned her single-mindedness. maybe you can talk a little bit about how alice intersected with temperance. if you take it one step further than that and talk about the other reformers she was a part
of and she was learning from. she was very single-minded. she was suffrage all the way. kris: absolutely. it's unusual for someone like alice -- we talk about who is your hero. for alice, it was susan b anthony. she was a labor rights activist, a temperance activists and a suffragist as well. susan b anthony was her hero. yet, when alice paul focuses and forms her own party, she becomes very single-minded and focuses all that on the amendment and its criticized for not focusing on other issues that would affect women. particularly sensitive she is successful at bringing in a lot
of different types of women. she brings in different classes in different races. women are approaching her all the time saying why aren't we focusing on temperance, focusing on african-american women's rights? what about the mother that needs to be her baby? alice paul would say the vote first. that was her message. the vote is first and everything else will follow. i don't have any numbers -- i'm sure that a lot of her suffragists are also involved in the temperance movement because
they know there's a huge overlap. between all of those reform movements, she has women interested in temperance, women -- she recruits a lot of factory women. she is working with lower classes of women. she is aware of what their needs are because she was a settlement worker. she is aware of all of these issues. she takes lessons from these campaigns. however, her focus is singly on getting women the right to vote. all of the movements definitely overlap, but for alice come her signal focus is going to be the 19th amendment, the vote first everything else will figure its way out. >> it's interesting that frances willard had a do everything
policy and alice paul had a we will take this one step at a time and get separate first and then move forward. test suffrage first and then move forward. >> we have six of her degrees. she had two bachelors, two masters and two doctorates. she studied biology, she studied liberal arts, social work, she got a doctorate in economics and then had her law degree. she took courses at the london school of economics and the new york school of philanthropy. through all of these schools through these programs she will meet a lot of people who will eventually become suffragists. she will recruit them into her movement. through her work in the settlement movement, she is going to meet women that will influence her that she will also bring it to the movement. she is part of the college women. when she coordinates this huge parade in 1913, she encourages college women to wear their caps on gowns. she is part of that generation of women who are able to go to college and receive this
education, but also to have careers aired she was able to do that. she is part of that young women's movement at the time. highly educated and was able to move that into a career, but then into directing a movement. >> what was the year frances willard passed away? lorie: 1898. there were debates about the we do one thing, do we do prohibition or do we do everything like willard wanted them to? she was such a force during her lifetime, nobody would get anywhere with that conversation -- she was one of the most well-known women of her time. it's very strange to read accounts of her life and look at her and realize how little people know her story today. her portrait hung on people's walls next to george washington. that kind of thing. after she is gone, the wctu has to figure out -- they don't give up on the do everything.
they are still working on suffrage, still working on lots of others, but they turned their eyes toward prohibition. the prohibition movement gains steam. the debate for reformers is a common debate. i don't know about a lot of other movements -- do we do one thing and focus and do it well and get it done or do we try this broad movement where we are trying to affect change across the board? they debated it. and had various answers. >> it is generational, to bank. -- generational, too. this concept of education and whether or not they had an early access to education or early influence on education -- you said something earlier that was very fascinating. the difference between the two communities. there was an enslaved community and free blacks. it was the free peoples glad
access to education and could bring that to the others. >> sojourner truth supported temperance. an enslaved woman from new york state who manages to gain her freedom when she's an adult and moves into the reform business period. she advocated for temperance and her argument was too many mothers claim that their husbands spent all the family money on alcohol. she is talking about black mothers. she says i know they are miserable, i know they are unhappy, that's why they are drinking. it's supposed to drown their pain. they are using the family money and the mothers were up in arms. when truth was in topeka, kansas , was talking about you have to combine suffrage and temperance because this is the only way we will get legislation that will help.
it was a class thing as well. >> economic factors. kris: the problem with alcohol the level of the problem, it's hard for us to rent our brains around. we think so differently about alcohol -- we consume so much less. you see the exhibit, there's jugs. it's astonishing. it's hard for us -- prohibition is a bit of a joke. it is kind of comical. we are going to ban alcohol. for them, it was serious business and it was because it was all those women and all the suffrage and all the families and all the children -- if you are impoverished because someone has drink away his wages and your wages because you do not have rights to your own wages -- this is a serious problem. >> across race and class, which i found interesting.
>> tell me more about the role of the church. it was a religious organization and a mechanism -- >> yet. -- yeah. dependent on the preachers you had, as well as the kind of leadership among the women in the church. most black churches -- i don't go to white churches, so i don't know. in the black churches i know of, there are more women. is this true?
more women in churches? ok, all right. the women would say to the minister, we've got to do something about this. if he wanted to keep his congregation from moving on to another, he would have to listen to them. so, they invited people -- he would invite people or the deacons would invite people who could give a social movement message, not preaching, but after church, this person would come and speak. sojourner truth did that come a lot of that. so did these other educated women as well. >> how do you think -- what types of education are we
talking about? essentially bringing awareness and making sure that those women are seeing that there is a path out? >> i think what they were saying is -- we are not talking about the deep south. we are talking about the north and middle. these are the places where i found this. if your men could vote -- in some of these midwestern places, you could vote before the 19 the moment. -- amendment. they need to pressure the politicians to put this together. even though i have not found any evidence of this, i suspect that in some of these denominations maybe the methodists in particular, the black preachers and white preachers would get together and talk about why
don't we bombard our people this weekend talk about the reasons we need to lessen this drinking. someone needs to do a study of that. i find it very interesting that these connections were being made by these women -- sojourner truth was an illiterate woman. she went to lectures, she heard -- she went to something like this and would gather the information. we are not talking about people reading about this, necessarily. they would often go to -- they would talk about this at a revival. kris: alice and her party will pray upon that moral duty that women have, their pious this. -- piousness.
they believed that women were the moral half of the world. that will be a strong factor in bringing in women into the latter part of the suffrage movement. lorie: frances willard used this term strategically. when she starts advocating for the vote and getting the wctu to advocate for the vote, she seeks the ballot for home protection issues only. she calls the home protection ballot. just on school boards -- we don't need the vote on everything, we just need those things that impact our home. she frames that, starts to frame this idea that women bring that moral influence -- it's not outside their sphere of
activity. it's just an extension of the home for them to have this ballot. it changes over time. kris: they take that phrase and turn it into municipal housekeeping. women will use their vote for moral purposes. they will help to get rid of corruption and feed hungry children and give attention to those welfare causes. >> all three of these have been mentioned to me -- you talk about rights versus duties. is it a woman's right to do these things or is it her duty to do these things?
that's something you all talk about at one time or another. you also said something interesting to me -- you are drawing a parallel between the suffrage movement and temperance movement and talking about the temperance movement was frontloaded at an early time talking about suffrage, and a inordinate amount of women involved in this. lorie: because the temperance movement is so grassroots and connected with all the churches, it has its fingers in every little town in america at some point. every county and every state has a wctu. it's not every single -- a huge
organization. it provides the grassroots for the suffrage movement at a key time. it does not maintain that. there's ebbs and flows here. this is something someone really could explore. it was that relationship of the two. we know that a lot of suffrage workers who were early suffrage workers move over to the temperance movement at a certain point because they start to think that maybe this home protection idea will work. maybe this will get us the vote. maybe we should shift our focus little bit here and start working in temperance and that will get the ballot quicker. then, those brewers and distillers and that vast amount
of money comes rearing its head and it becomes the main anti-suffrage source. >> the black women, the 1870's is when they combine temperance and separate. this is emancipation, post-civil war, reconstruction era. there is a lot more political illiteracy. -- validity. if you brought in some key women who could stir up the other women, it would be significant.
they did not want you wasting the money in the bars. they wanted you to put your money in the church. there's a lot of political and moral reasons that connect this. i see a lot of this as a combination of things. the political choice to be profamily -- the use the word alcohol abuse, which is modern for today. >> a good segue for us to talk a little bit about the path of suffrage or the path of temperance. women from different communities and different times picked one up and set the other one down. was it a duty or a right? was at home protection or
because we need to get the vote to secure everything else? alice is at the far end of the spectrum which is the vote comes first. >> you talk about duty versus right. alice gave a lot of -- she gave a lot of respect towards this home protection or reformers -- this idea of the women as the moral persuaders, moral influence of society. she gave a lot of public respect, she talked about it she said women are the peaceful half of the world. i see in documents and behind closed doors, she is following the this is our right line of thinking. as a lawyer, she has a certain understanding of the
constitution. before she studied law, she had this idea -- i don't know if it was being a quaker or through her political studies or economic studies, she believes men and women are equal. she gives attention to the women as a housemate, but behind closed doors she's advocating for the woman. this is her right. not necessarily that sense of duty. she can't push that angle too much because she will lose some of her supporters. this is definitely more radical. should we be fighting for the right to vote because where mothers or because we are human beings? alice paul would have definitely argued that. she said truly women are human beings and need to fight for their human rights as citizens
she always walked that line. she didn't want to make anyone angry on either side. i think in her heart she leaned more towards the vote as a right for women. lori: it's so interesting because i don't think we give them a lot of thought. we do, but other people may not give them credit for being such strategic thinkers about who they are trying to persuade. who are they trying to get to do what? while alice is having to confront the idea that she has
to embrace domestic or minas for house reform, francis is having to be strategic and really develop the idea of municipal housekeeping and home protection. she, even at an early age, was all about that. it was about rights for her, but she did not believe -- she talks about -- it was about rights for her. she did not believe that if she started talking about rights she would gain acceptance. in her time period if you started about women need these rights, you would lose them. the idea of you are a mother you are a sister, you are a wife, you are a daughter, you have moral duty. these are part of your job in the world, to protect your family from all of this, to help them gain that protection.
this is just an extension of your duties in that area of your life. the whole development is huge for her. a lot of scholarship around this issue will tend to say it is either rights or duty. one or the other. i think most suffragists embraced both of them. just to varying degrees. they had to do it at different times for different regions. each argument was not exclusive. it wasn't like, we are just about this one. i think it would go the other way. paige: until we have the conversation a week or so ago, i had not thought about picking up one of the arguments and setting it down when it was less than palatable for a certain group and picking up the other one. you were talking about this as well because you said for some the women who was a means to an
end because they were really focused on improving economics and family. it came down to economics, very simple. they would pick up each one that they would need. can you pick up that conversation? rosalyn: the problem is for the majority of african-americans, they are either first or second generation free. by the end of the 19th century. very few were born -- marianne kerry's family was born free but delaware is a border state , they are not in alabama. you find that the majority of black women who are in these positions are in minority the minority in terms of education. they are educated. they are a minority.
their influence is significant because they were willing to interchange with the women and they understood that if they did not do that, they were doomed. they are practical as well as medical and moral reasons for all of this. -- as well as political and moral reasons for all of this. i did not find anybody who wasn't a suffragist who was a temperance advocate. all the temperance advocates i found were suffragists. after i finished my dissertation non-african-americans in general, i decided to focus on women in particular and build from there. i did not find anybody who didn't think that the primary goal was getting the right to vote because want to get the
-- once you get the right to vote, then you have political power. morality is one thing. the ability to implement the policies that you want our something else again. you have to be able to have the ammunition to do that and vote. the ballot box was the ammunition. african-americans are very pragmatic about this whole thing. paige: with the fact that economic factors are underlying for all these different groups. we have a few more minutes before we open it up to questions for audience. i want to have you talk about two more things for the movement. we know there was not a lot of -- there was a lot of overlap picking up one piece and putting it down and picking up temperance and moving it
forward. we know a lot of groups went back and forth pretty easily. it does not matter what the reasoning was. they went back and forth very often. we tend to hear a little more about that there was less than collegial working between some the land. -- between all of the woman. lori, you mentioned something. i want to talk about the individual. you said at one point that there were several women coming clean -- there were several woman, including francis will, would change topics depending on the audience groups and the times. maybe we can talk about that. for instance, frances willard had passed before alice -- which even in england by then?
lori: not quite, no. paige: this is very early. lori: it is starting to slow. kristina: it is definitely the generation before. paige: what happened after frances willard had died? lori: the wctu after her death is a whole different story. they turn as an organization. she was such a figure in their world. they have a wonderful headquarters building in downtown chicago built for them by daniel burnham. huge skyscraper in the middle of the loop. they decide they are going to move their headquarters to the
little house in evanston. her death really shook them. it came suddenly. she was young. she was a very active reformer. she was not well in those later years of her life, but she died of influenza. they are really shaken and they struggle with their confidence. when you lose a key leader it is hard. they shift their focus and they come back strong. that's prohibition. they did not give up on everything else. it was always a do everything movement a little bit. paige: it is still an active organization. you are not in that organization, but they are active. you had said something about the influence they have globally. lori: they are still a worldwide organization.
one of the largest was in india. it was the wctu of india and are headquarters in delhi. they have changed. it is not the same organization it was 100 years ago but it still exists. amazing. paige: and largely christian you said. fascinating. obviously alice and her group were successful at getting suffrage past and ratified. that was not the end of request. that was the means to an end. talk about the next few decades for alice and what you was doing. kristina: even as she is taking celebratory photos, it is a foot in the door but she knows there needs to be more legislation.
she did write the equal rights amendment. it was introduced in 1923 and introduced into every session of congress until 1972. she was going to dedicate the rest of her life working for the e.r.a. in the united states. she works abroad. she will start the world's women's party. headquarters in geneva switzerland. she is working for women suffrage internationally, but also all kinds of legislation that would affect women, from custody to citizenship to wages and things that would affect women legally. the e.r.a. is the heart of what she's doing in the 1920's. in her very later years she will counter the women's liberation
movement. it is kind of interesting because all of the issues, the overlap of issues will come back to her and people will be critical of her. why are you not paying attention to the civil rights movement? why are you not paying attention to mothers who need day care services? she said the same thing. well, when we get the e.r.a. we will be able to address all of these issues legally in the court system. she dedicates her life towards e.r.a. even in her final years in her 90's, she is starting to speak to reporters because in 1972 congress did pass the equal rights amendment. it is in this time when she kind of knows that you was given the seven-year deadline and it was extended to 10 years.
she knew in her heart it would have a hard time gainful ratification. the e.r.a. falls three states short of ratification. i joke that if alice were alive today, she was stop the presentation and she would have you on the phone, all over social media. she truly believed in the document. the single focus was on let's get it into the constitution. we will give women a legal leg to stand on. and then we will work on all of these other issues that have come up during the suffrage movement but that came up again when liberation and it and continued today. >> when did she die? kristina: 1977. she was 92 years old and still
trying to get the e.r.a. past. paige: she worked in the house until 1974. it is interesting generationally because we said alice in that generation of suffragists were the young upstarts. they were the new generation 's that came in and started militant-type strategy and moving that forward. they were seen as the newest of what was going forward with suffrage and leaving some of the older generations behind. you get to a place in alice's life and she becomes the older generation. there are plenty of younger women were organizing at that time. in the 1960's and 1970's they are organizing for lots of different movements. alice and her group become the older generation.
kristina: there were literally called the old women on the hill by gloria steinem. paige: you see what goes on there. can you tell us a little bit -- in our earlier conversations, we did not have a chance to get into this. what about the next generation of african-american women? where did they go from after they formulated the church and formulated economic issues? rosalyn: they hated alice paul. they called her a racist. mary church terrell, i don't know how many of you know that name. there is a high school or junior high school after her husband, the judge. she lived in washington, d.c. for many years and was the first president of the national association of colored women. she said we have to be pragmatic about this. alice paul just got to her to
the point where she told leaders of the naacp, walter white in particular, i just can't deal with her. let's be practical. she has the power so we have to deal with her. but black suffragists considered her to be quite a racist. mary church terrell tells walter white, you know, if she could get away with the amendment being for white women only, she would do it. i found that in a mary church terrell paper in the library of congress. the naacp papers were there too and i was able to cooperate. i said, this is hot. walter white said, we all know that. let's not make any big fuss. you can't walk around her or get rid of her.
you'll have to work with her. classic racist. paige: the issue of equality in the upbringing of alice. can you add anything to that? we know when she was organizing and when there was a choice to be made between more populist southern states that would not have participated if african-american women had been given the same rights to participate in parades or whatever it was, she said we will err on the side of the numbers and we will bring in the bigger group. it's a difficult situation to look at it back through today's eyes and think we certainly would not make that same call today. rosalyn: yes, we would. paige: maybe we would. rosalyn: i hate to say it, but the way things have been in recent years, just a variety of
unfortunate things that have happened in the news. that is the thing. we see everybody. people are snapping everything. you see everything that is happening. it is covert now because you can be overt about it and get away with it. but things have changed. but they haven't changed that much. paige: paige: it is not utopia. rosalyn: no, no, no. but you have to keep on fighting it. that is basically what the naacp, the national association of colored women's group, they all decided on the same strategy. we have to do what we can covertly because we know that if we overtly cry for all of this there will be some like alice paul who would say no, we don't need them. we need the southern vote, southern white vote first. lori: earlier you were talking
about the wctu and segregated union. it was definitely a challenge for them because they knew they could grow. they knew there was going to be a lot of church women out there who are big supporters and they knew they needed to grow in the south. how do we grow in the south and how do we get white women involved? how do we get black women involved? how do we toe this very difficult line? they did not always do what we would want them to. they definitely found themselves in some quandaries about the choices that they made. not all of them are good choices. they struggled, i think. kris: i think alice paul is interesting because she is a
quaker, but also she is charged with racism. i think we are seeing her through a lens. when it comes down to the hard choices, she did give credence to the southern white women in that parade and later on, but while kerry katz's plan is for a compromise, alice paul's plan does not. she will advocate for a federal women's suffrage movement. she does have to negotiate with lots of different groups. there is still more research to be done when it comes to alice paul, what is happening behind the scenes. lori: the wctu had national conventions. everyone was invited t all
union. -- everyone was invited, all unions. everyone sent a representative. i am wondering what other women's organization at the time had -- rosalyn: ball is a superintendent. lori: they had met. they were on the stage. if they were superintendent, they were speaking and giving reports. it is something i do not know a lot about. i'm curious about it. i would like to know how integrated was it. was it integrated at all were only a little bit? how was it? rosalyn: my speculation is if you have a superintendent of "colored work" who is sitting on the stage -- i'm sure she was because she was part of that centralized leadership -- you might all meet in the same place
, but they had a colored section. i don't know for sure. but i bet they did. i bet they had a colored section because that is what life was like. lori: i wonder if the southern women would want -- i don't know. rosalyn: as long as they didn't have to sit with black women in the pews, they would be fine because the black women would be in the last row. that would be fine, i would think. the idea that they would get a superintendent of colored work and not just completely ignore the black women is significant. the majority of black people in that time lived in the southern states, the former slave states. you do not have that much lobbying from black people in
the north because the majority of people are still in the south. you do not get that migration until right after world war i, which is two or three years before ratification of the amendment. you still have this very significant southern black population and although you had educated people because we have what people call today historically black colleges throughout the south, most of which founded in the 1870's. howard was 1870-something. to about the turn-of-the-century. you still had a significant number of them. this is where the so-called black elite were being educated. most of them were. i don't think i can -- i don't know. spellman and morehouse -- lori:
lori: might have been all-male? rosalyn: morehouse was across the street from spellman. your boyfriend is across the street. they would organize this in the 1880's or 1890's. i know those two. there is one in virginia which will come to me in a minute. the majority of what we call hbc u's -- historically black colleges and universities -- were coed and most of the people were what we call middle-class. the doctors and lawyers' children, the post office people who often had political appointments, the rich farm owners, because you did have some. and then you had people from the north who would send their children to these schools in the south because there were very
few. there were some in philadelphia. cheney university was an early antebellum like school that eventually became cheney university in philadelphia. the idea of you can't get rid of them, so you have to work around them. we do need them for some things. it is interesting. but you have to have a professional group to maintain this segregated society. paige: i don't know that we have come up with an answer tonight. we probably have come up with a whole host of new questions that are begging for certain scholarly research. i would hope there is a whole list of questions we could come up with. i know that lori and kris has
said that may times before. we have about 15 more minutes that we can take questions from the audience. they can be general questions or directed to a certain person. if you would like to start queuing up, there are microphones on both sides. he did. he is fast. we will go ahead and start with him. >> the word tempering to my understanding needs moderation. it does not mean abstinence. when did the groups switch from reduced alcohol consumption to cutting it off entirely? women, christians, whatever. was it abstinence from beginning or was it moderation and they switched? lori: it was abstinence. they just used the word temperance. the language is really important. we know that. that is what they meant. that is what they meant when they are talking the temperance movement. they don't use the word
prohibition right away. i don't know exactly when that word comes in. it may come in earlier. i do not know. it is woman's, by the way. the plural. paige: interesting. why don't we switch to the side. >> this is for whoever knows the answer. in the temperance and suffrage movements, what role did men play, particularly in leadership? did they sort of take over when they got in? lori: in the temperance movement, in the wctu men were not allowed to be leaders at all. francis miller called the wctu the wctu university because it was a training ground for women to be leaders. it really was about women's leadership and women ran meetings.
she knew that if men were allowed to have a role as a leader that the women would defer to them, because they were not allowed. it was not allowed. very consciously that way. rosalyn: it was not that way with suffrage. at seneca falls, they had a man who chaired the thing and frederick douglass was there. paige: he was there and he spoke. rosalyn: yes. i think that that was deliberate because you are not going to get men to listen to the women. you need male surrogates to speak for them because it is the men who can vote, you know.
i can see the madness, the method in that madness. lori: with alice paul's party, it was women. there was a joke of it -- kris: with alice paul's party, it was women. there was a joke. her cousin was a soldier. she said, you are the only man of status here. they also had a contingent of men that marched in the 1913 parade. they are certainly supporters. we know that she worked with a team of lawyers. there is one gentleman that really goes to bat as an attorney for the suffragists. he is a real supporter. there are also some funny stories of alex fall -- alice paul. when they would come in, she would have them do work like put stance on envelopes. they had never done network -- done that before. the headquarters was all-female almost consistently. they certainly had their male
cohorts, but they did not let them take leadership positions. lori: the temperance union had organizations that were mostly men. the anti-saloon league, the prohibition party. there were all sorts of men involved in temperance. they did not need that part of it, that aspect. >> lots of questions raised. so much more to learn. what you are just saying touches on one of the thoughts that popped up for me. temperance, the push for temperance. i was wondering if that had an impact on turning a lot of men off the idea of women getting to vote because -- at least that they did not drink themselves. a lot of men say no way do you let these women get the vote because i don't want to lose my right to drink.
a few years ago i wrote a white paper on the history of social movements in the u.s. the census data is broken down about race and class. my understanding is the woman's movement grew out of the abolitionist movement, were a lot of middle-class women got their training in the abolitionist movement. there were also a lot of working-class women involved early on. in 1840's, 1850's, you had all of those bloodbaths going on at the factories in lowell and the mining camps out west. thousands of poor people dying. my understanding is some of the suffragettes saying crossed the line. really not getting poverty
conditions in the life-and-death conditions of the working class women. they mostly laughed. the suffragettes are saying if you get the vote, it will be good. our men have the vote and it is not good it is not working. after this civil rights, after the civil war when black men got the vote, that made a lot of white women angry in my understanding is that it basically turned their back. a lot of racism down the south with racist banners in those suffragists. it was breaking frederick douglass' heart, who was a strong advocate for women's rights. it was not until the labor movement started picking up at the end of the 1900s -- i'm sorry, 1800s, that the labor
movement started picking up and a lot of the working-class women in return to that because now we have a chance that getting a vote is going to make a difference. with their numbers and energy, it really helped the suffrage movement to move along more. that is just my question in my white paper, it was i wonder if white middle-class women had not turned their backs or had more support for poor working-class women and had not turned their backs on their african-american partners and let's the bloodbath in the south that all the lynchings go on for years and years. how much larger a movement it would have been in with suffrage not have happened a lot sooner along with a lot of other human
rights? kris: so had there not been the economic and racial divide early on in the backlash they came from that, with the movement have progressed earlier? >> right. that was my question in my paper. when are we going to learn that lesson? thank you. rosalyn: one of the problems is the question of state strength. most of the activities, it is the same with getting an amendment through. you have to get the state's it first. locally -- state to support it first. local you have to work on the amendment before you can say the amendment can be ratified. a lot of this had to deal with local politics. it is a state's rights issue. it varies from state to state,
the type of population have. i think we were lucky to get it, period, to tell you the truth. i have a feeling it had to do with it were effort -- with the war effort, the changes that came about because world war i. kris: that was the irony of it. even though the suffrage movement had become racist -- >> that was the irony of it. even all the suffrage movement had become racist when it fell to convince them, particularly be white southern legislators. the irony was for all of that, didn't suffrage pass by one male vote? a senator, was it, or a congressman from tennessee who is mother telegraphed him that night. if you don't vote, i will never -- that is why he changed his vote. it did not work, that strategy.
paige: i don't know that you could make a definitive answer either way, frankly, because it is trying to prove what did not happen. it is difficult to try to do that. it is certainly a topic that i hope more people address and move forward with on a scholarly application. gloria evans, myself of the national ones authority, there is a repository of documents that we know generally what they had, they may be loosely catalog, but it is decades worth of solid research material that no one has gone through. simply because when you have tens of thousands of documents and a small staff you will not be of to get through all that. there are plenty of ways we can look back on that history and
find ways to improve ourselves today. absolutely. i think we need to hopefully work so we are making sure that organizations are supported in small repositories are not really forgotten because the no one has access to the research. that would be the worst thing that could possibly happen. if we just close up the boxes on the history and nobody takes a look at it. i think it would be a complete waste. we have one more question and i think we might have time for one more question after that. >> i want to thank you, ladies. i would love to have a semester with all of you. that would be a great delight. i have a tiny question and a slightly broader question. you mentioned the metric of seven gallons. was that per person per week? kris: i think it was per person per year, seven gallons of raw alcohol.
lori: it is different depending on the year. who knows what year? >> i know it was bad. is a huge amount. rosalyn, perhaps you could provide a strong answer. it is my understanding that on the march 3, 1989 parade that alice paul had asked the african-american women to march in the back. my perception was that it was a very unwise strategic decision. this your perception go back to that position in terms of the bundling of perception of racism with others as to who she was? rosalyn: they knew she was a racist before that happened. the key person again was mary church terrell, who was at the time the outgoing president of the national association of code women.
she was the first. she had lots of input. terrell was there. terrell marched, and she said to the women we are going to go to the end of the line because they want us to get mad and go home. no, we'll go to the end of the line. besides, they were in d.c. which was a segregated city anyways. i don't think people forgot. this just magnified their dislike of her, of alice paul. kris: alice paul did not ask these women too much at the back of the line. it was a large pressure by southern women. alice did not make the decision. she left it to her pageant director and the people who
organized the procession. i think the compromise was to get the contingent of men to march in between the southern white women. i argue that alice paul was not a racist. it would not have been accepted in her family. her reputation may have been there because she does have to give in to southern white women's demands. for the most part, they had a huge influence in the national american woman suffrage association. it is a highly racist time particularly in d.c. rosalyn: whether she was or not, the perception was. lori: who is it that breaks the line? kris: ida wells. lori: i believe it said evanston woman who welcomes her
catherine colic. good old evensenton. it has its own issues. believe me. at this moment, it was in evanston woman. rosalyn: a lot of drama. >> are you aware in 2013 when we did the 100-year march, which i participated, and it was heralded by the african-american sorority that had only been in existence for a couple of weeks back in 1913. rosalyn: not mine, by the way. >> a heavy african-american march to honor. did you march in it? ok. ironically, -- it did. ironically because they had done such a wonderful job of organizing, the white women were at the back of that parade.
those of us who knew the history looked at each other and laughed. thank you, ladies. you have been delightful. >> my question is for kris. what was alice paul's relationship with new wave feminist, particularly gloria steinem? kris: i love that question. alice was the younger generation of suffragists and had to go up against what she called the old guard. it turns on its head by the 1960's and 1970's. gloria steinem call her the old women on a hill. i'm not going to say young women, but she sees a younger women's liberation movement, compared to her. again, she gives it publicly. she says yes, this is our next generation. the next generation of women pick up the mantle. behind closed doors she is very concerned about this movement.
the national organization for women. their platform has seven different parts, components to it. everything from how women are represented in the media today day care and ultimately abortion will come in as a major issue as well. she says behind closed doors that they are very concerned about this new movement that they will stumble out the gate in her words. they're concerned that they have too many things that they want to focus on, that they will lose focus, not be able to hone in on one thing, and they also have a central leader. she foreshadows how effective is this movement going to be without one goal and one strong leader, or at least one team of leaders. to the media she says hooray and good luck, ladies, but behind closed doors she is very concerned about what these young
women will do with her movement and her e.r.a. paige: there is still plenty of questions to get answered. obviously, as the women's movement has moved forward out of the 1960's and 19 remedies -- 1970's and into the 1980's, and these are things we are still addressing. we're coming up on an election year. you cannot turn on the tv or radio without hearing something about the women's vote or who is doing what and what the organizations are saying. lori: they think that because we have 100 years of women voting coming in 2020. paige: we do. there's a lot of work to be done before then so we can celebrate that in the manner we should be. i think we are completely out of time. i'm fairly certain we are. thank you all very much for coming tonight and being here. [applause] and for all of your excellent
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