Personal Stories

DAR Suffragists

Susan B. Anthony, Suffragist and Reformer

Susan B. Anthony (1820 – 1906)
Irondequoit Chapter, New York

A staunch supporter of women’s suffrage, Susan B. Anthony worked tirelessly throughout her life to secure women the right to vote.  Along with Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Anthony formed the National Women’s Suffrage Association in 1869 and devoted her time and energy to traveling around the country speaking on behalf of the suffrage cause.  In 1890 she organized a merger with the more conservative American Woman Suffrage Association to form the National American Woman Suffrage Association.  Anthony was primarily concerned with women earning the right to vote.  Although she did not live to see the passage of the 19th Amendment on August 26, 1920, which granted women the right to vote, Anthony’s efforts greatly contributed to the cause. 

Alice Stokes Paul, Suffragist

Alice Stokes Paul (1885-1977)
Mary Washington Chapter, Washington, DC

Women’s rights activist Alice Paul was born in New Jersey.  She held a Bachelor of Arts degree from Swarthmore College, a Master of Arts in sociology and a Ph.D. in political science and economics.  She joined the National American Woman Suffrage Association in 1912 and was appointed Chairman of the organization’s Congressional Committee in Washington.  Her activities initially consisted of strategic planning and fund raising.  By 1916 Paul and her colleagues began to implement the more assertive tactics used by suffragists in England.  Their efforts included parades, hunger strikes, and suffrage watch fires.  In 1917 Paul participated in what may have been the first political protest to picket in front of the White House.  She was arrested along with other participants and sent to prison at what was then the Occoquan Workhouse in Lorton, Virginia.  Paul proceeded to organize a hunger strike and endured force-feedings, beatings, and other torture including sleep deprivation.  A physician at Occoquan said of her:  “[She has] a spirit like Joan of Arc, and it is useless to try to change it.  She will die but she will never give up.”  It was Alice Paul who nicknamed the Nineteenth Amendment “The Anthony Amendment” after women’s rights pioneer Susan B. Anthony. 

In addition to Susan B. Anthony and Alice Paul, suffragists Mary Garrett Hay, Julia Ward Howe, Belva Lockwood, Harriet Taylor Upton, Sue Shelton White and Frances Willard were DAR members.