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Collection Women of Protest: Photographs from the Records of the National Woman's Party

1915 to 1916


  1. 1915


    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.


    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.

    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.

    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.

  2. 1916


    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.

    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.


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

    Oct. 20

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

    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.