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Exhibition Shall Not Be Denied: Women Fight for the Vote

Harris & Ewing. The Suffrage Watchfire before the White House, Jan. 1919. Washington, D.C. NWP Records, Manuscript Division, Library of Congress (116.00.00)
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Wood from the Revolutionary battlefield of Brandywine sent by Pennsylvania suffragists for the “Watchfires for Freedom,” with envelope, January 1919. NWP Records, Manuscript Division, Library of Congress (117.00.00)
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Wood from the Revolutionary battlefield of Brandywine sent by Pennsylvania suffragists for the “Watchfires for Freedom,” with envelope, January 1919. NWP Records, Manuscript Division, Library of Congress (117.00.01)
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Watchfires of Freedom

During the months of Senate inaction, both the NWP and NAWSA intensified their lobbying of U.S. senators and President Wilson. The NWP also picketed Senate office buildings and held demonstrations in Lafayette Park. Angered at Wilson’s failure to secure the last two suffrage votes needed in the Democratic-controlled Senate, the NWP began burning “watchfires of freedom” in January 1919. They torched copies of the president’s speeches, incinerated a paper effigy of him, and ceremoniously burned wood from Revolutionary-era sites. Arrests and imprisonments followed.