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Exhibition Shall Not Be Denied: Women Fight for the Vote

Minnie P. Quay (1863–1946). Affidavit signed and notarized, November 28, 1917. NWP Records, Manuscript Division, Library of Congress (108.00.00)

“The Night of Terror”

Women arrested in mid-November 1917, including Cora Week, were sent to Occoquan Workhouse in Virginia, on November 14, where they encountered unprecedented psychological intimidation and physical violence. Enraged by their demands, Superintendent Raymond Whittaker unleashed guards to beat, push, and throw them into cells. Dora Lewis was knocked unconscious; Alice Cosu suffered a heart attack; and Lucy Burns was awkwardly handcuffed overnight. Many women, including Minnie Prior Quay of Salt Lake City, Utah, recounted the brutality and terrorizing threats in affidavits.