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作者:未知      更新:2018-03-12 09:24      字数:9815
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    Oh, you of the unquenchable spirit

    How I adore you!

    I could light forever the waning fires of my courage

    At the incessant, upleaping flame of your being!

    You,creature of light and color and vivid emotions

    Of radiant action,who ever could dream of you passive,

    Submissive, your small self stilled into lazy contentment?

    You, fired with the beauty of ardor,

    Lovely with love for all that is clean and earnest and forceful,

    Yourself daring anything

    So long as it be for Womanhood, and the cause of justice and progress

    Daring to lead and daring to follow

    Giving us each of your unfailing inspiration.

    You, over whom the jeers and the mockings and the ugly thoughts

    of those who understand not

    Pass lightly, like a spent breath of foul air in a still cavern,

    Unflicking the steadfast torch of you

    I could re-light forever the waning fires of my courage

    At the incessant, upleaping flame of your being!

    Elizabeth Kalb,

    The Suffragist, January 25, 1919.

    In 1917 occurred the great leap forward in the activity of the Woman's Party; in swift succession came the picketing; the burning of the President's words; the Watchfires of Freedom. And Headquarters from 1917 onas can be easily imaginedwas a feverishly busy place. From the instant the picketing started, it grew electric with action. As for the work involved in making up the constant succession of picket lines

    465It was not easy at an instant's notice to find women who had the time to picket. But always there were some women willing to picket part of the time and some willing to picket all of the time. Mary Gertrude Fendall was in charge of this work. That her office was no sinecure is evident from the fact that on one occasion alonethat memorable demonstration of March 4, 1917she provided a line of nearly a thousand. Of course, too, as fast as the women went to jail, other women had to be found to fill their places. In those days Miss Fendall lived at the telephone and between telephone calls, she wrote letters which invited sympathizers to come from distant States to join the banner-bearing forces. Those women who could always be depended on for picketing were, in the main, Party sympathizers living in Washington; Party workers permanently established at Headquarters; organizers come back suddenly from their regular work. But volunteers came toovolunteers from the District of Columbia and from all parts of the United States. In the winter, as has been before stated, picketing was a cold business. The women found that they had to wear a surprising amount of clothessweaters and coats, great-coats, mufflers, arctics and big woolly gloves. Many of the pickets left these extra things at Headquarters and the scramble to disengage rights and lefts of the gloves and arctics was one of the amusing details of the operation of the picket line. Banners took up space too; but they added their cheering color to the picture.

    When the arrests began, the atmosphere grew more tense and even more busy. But just aswhen trouble camea golden flood poured into the Woman's Party treasury, so volunteer pickets came in a steadily lengthening line. Anne Martin had said to the Judge who sentenced her: “So long as you send women to jail for asking for freedom, just so long will there be women willing to go to jail for such a cause.” This proved to be true. Volunteers for this gruelling experience continued to appear 466from all over the country. Mrs. Grey of Colorado, sending her twenty-two year old daughter, Nathalie, into the battle, said:

    I have no son to fight for democracy abroad, and so I send my daughter to fight for democracy at home.

    It interested many of the Woman's Party members to study the first reactions of the police to the strange situation the picketing brought about. Most of the policemen did not enjoy maltreating the girls. Some of them were stupid and a few of them were brutal, but many of them were kind. They always deferred to Lucy Burns with an air of profound respectMiss Lucy, they called her. But a curious social element entered into the situation. Large numbers of the women were well-known Washingtonians. The police were accustomed to seeing them going about the city in the full aura of respected citizenship. It was very difficult often, to knowin arresting themwhat social tone to adopt.

    Mrs. Gilson Gardner tells an amusing story of her first arrest. In the midst of her picketing, an officer suddenly stepped up to her. He said politely: “It is a very beautiful day.” She concurred. They chatted. He was in the meantime looking this way and that up the Avenue. Suddenly, still very politely, he said: “I think the patrol will be along presently.” Not until then did it dawn on Mrs. Gardner that she was arrested.

    Later, when the Watchfires were going, Mrs. Gardner was again arrested while she was putting wood on the flames. There was a log in her arms: “Just a minute, officer,” she said, in her gentle, compelling voice, and the officer actually waited while she crossed the pavement and put the remaining log on the fire. Later, when Mrs. Gardner's name was called in the court, she decided that she preferred to stand, rather than sit in the chair designated for the accused. The policeman started to force her down. Again she said, in the gentle, compelling tone: 467“Please do not touch me, officer!” and he kept his hands off her from that time forth.

    Of course, the unthinking made the usual accusation that these women were doing all this for notoriety. That was a ridiculous statement, whose disproof was easy. The character and quality of the women themselves were its best denial. The women who composed the Woman's Party were of all kinds and descriptions; they emerged from all ranks and classes; they came from all over the United States. The Party did not belong exclusively to women of great wealth and social position, although there were many such in its list of membership; and some of these belonged to families whose fortunes were internationally famous. It did not belong exclusively to working women, although there were thousands of them in its ranks; and these represented almost every wage-earning task at which women toil. It did not belong exclusively to women of the arts or the professions; although scores of women, many nationally famous and some internationally famous, lent their gifts to the furtherance of the work. It did not belong exclusively to the women of the home, although scores of wives left homes, filled with the beauty which many generations of cultivation had accumulatedleft these homes and left children; and although equal numbers left homes of a contrasting simplicity and humblenessleft these homes and left children to go to jail in the interests of the movement. It may be said, perhaps, that the rank and file were characterized by an influential solidity, that they were women, universally respected in their communities, necessary to it. It was an all-woman movement. Indeed, often women who on every other possible opinion were as far apart as the two poles, worked together for the furtherance of the Federal Amendment. On one occasion, for instance, on the picket line, two women who could not possibly have found a single intellectual congeniality except the enfranchisement of women stood side by side. One was nationally and internationally 468famous as a conservative of great fortune. The other was nationally and internationally famous as a radical. In other words, one stood at the extreme right of conservatism and the other at the extreme left of radicalism. It was as though, among an archipelago of differing intellectual interests and social convictions, the Party members had found one little island on which they could stand in an absolute unanimity; stand ready to fightto the death, if it were necessaryfor that conviction.

    Some of the stories which they tell at Headquarters to illustrate the Pan-woman quality of the Party are touchingly beautiful. There is the case, for instance, of a woman government clerk, self-supporting, a widow, and the mother of a little girl. Every day for weeks, she had passed that line of pickets standing silently at the White House gates. She heard the insults that were tossed to the women. She saw the brutalities which were inflicted on them. She witnessed arrests. Something rose within fluttered  tore at her One day when Alice Paul was picketing, this young woman, suit-case in hand, appeared before her. She said “I am all ready to picket if you need me. I have made all the necessary arrangements in case I am arrested. Where shall I go to join your forces so that I may picket today?” She was arrested that afternoon and sent to prison.

    Two other government clerks, who appeared on the picket line, were arrested and jailed. They appealed to the government authorities for a month's leave of absence on the score of their imprisonment. All these three women, of course, ran the risk of losing their positions. But in their case the instinct to serve their generation was stronger than the instinct to conserve any material safety. It is pleasant to record that they were not compelled to make this sacrifice. Others, however, suffered. A school teacher in the Woman's Party, for instance, lost her position because of her picketing.

    If the foregoing is not denial enough of the charge, common 469when the picketing began, that these women were notoriety-seeking fanatics, perhaps nothing will bring conviction. It scarcely seems however that the most obstinate antagonist of the Woman's Party would like to believe that delicately reared women could enjoy, even for the sake of notorietyaside from the psychological effect of spiders and cockroaches everywhere, worms in their food, vermin in their beds, rats in their cellsthe brutalities to which they were submitted. Yet many women who had endured this once, came back to endure it again and again.

    One of the strong points of the Woman's Party was its fairness. In reference to the President, for instance, Maud Younger used to say that the attitude of the Woman's Party to him was like that of a girl who wants a college education. She teases her father for it without cessation, but she goes on loving him just the same. Another strong point of the Woman's Party was its sense of humor on itself. They tell with great delight the amusing events of this periodof the grinning street gamin who stood and read aloud one of the banners, How long must women wait for liberty? and then yelled: “T'ree months yous'll be waitin'in Occoquan.”of a reporter who, coming into Headquarters in search of an interview, found a child sliding down the bannisters. Before he could speak, the child announced in a tone of proud triumph: “My mother's going to prison.”

    A story they particularly like is of that young couple who, having had no bridal trip at the time of their marriage, came to Washington for a belated honeymoon. They visited Headquarters together. The bride became so interested in the picketing that she went out with one of the picket lines and was arrested. She spent her belated honeymoon in jail, and the groom spent his belated honeymoon indignantly lobbying the Congressmen of his own district.

    Later, when they were lighting the Watchfires of Freedom 470on the White House pavement, the activity at Headquarters was increased one hundred-fold.

    The pickets themselves refer to that period as the most “messy and mussy” in their history. Everything and everybody smelled of kerosene. All the time, there was one room in which logs were kept soaking in this pervasive fluid. When they first started the Watchfires they carried the urn and the oil-soaked logs openly, to the appointed spot on the pavement in front of the White House. Later, when the arrests began and the fires had to be built so swiftly that they had to abandon the urn, they carried these logs under coats or capes. The White House pavement was always littered with charred wood even when the Watchfires were not going. Once the fires were started it was almost impossible to put them out. Kerosene-soaked wood is a very obstinate substance. Water had no effect on it. Chemicals alone extinguished it. Amazed crowds used to stand watching these magic flames. Often when the policemen tried to stamp the fires out, they succeeded only in scattering them.

    It was an extraordinary effect, too, when the policemen were busy putting out one fire, to see others start up, in this corner of the Park, in that corner, in the great bronze urn, near the center.

    Building a fire in that bronze urn was as difficult a matter as it seems. A Woman's Party member, glancing out from a stairway window at the top of the house at Headquarters, had noted how boldly the urn stood out from the rest of the Park decoration

    Every Good Suffragist the Morning After Ratification.

    Nina Allender in The Suffragist.

    At three o'clock one morning, Julia Emory and Hazel Hunkins, two of the youngest and tiniest pickets, bore over to the Park from Headquarters several baskets of wood which they concealed in the shadows under the trees. The next problem was to get a ladder there without being seen. They accomplished this in some way, dragging it over the ground, slow foot after slow foot, and placed it against the urn. At intervals the policeman on the beat, 471who was making the entire roundor squareof the Park, passed. While one girl mounted the rudder and filled the urn with oil-soaked paper, oil-soaked wood, and liberal libations of oil, the other remained on guard. When the guard gave the word that the policeman was near, the two girls threw themselves face downward on the frozen grass. It is a very large urn and by this stealthy process it took hours to fill it. It was two days before they started the fire. Anybody might have seen the logs protruding from the top of the urn during those two days, but nobody did.

    The day on which the urn projected itself into the history of the Woman's Party, the Watchfires were burning for the first time on the White House pavements. The street and the Park were filled with people. A member of the Woman's Party, passing the urn, furtively threw into it a lighted asbestos coil. The urn instantly belched flames which threatened to lick the sky. The police arrested every Woman's Party member in sight. All the way down the street as the patrol carried them away, Hazel Hutchins and Julia Emory saw the flames flaring higher and higher.

    “How did they do that?” one man was heard to say. “I've been here the whole afternoon and I didn't see them light it.”

    Twice afterwards fires were started in the urn. For that matter, fires were started there after the police had set a watch on it.

    Hazel Hunkins, young, small, slender, took the urn under her special patronage. One of the pictures the Woman's Party likes to draw is the time Hazel was arrested there. She had climbed up onto the pedestal and was throwing logs into the pool of oil when two huge policemen descended upon her. The first seized one foot and the second seized the other; and they both pulled hard. Of course in these circumstances, it was impossible for her to move. But she is an athlete and she clung tight to the 472urn edge. Still the policemen pulled. Finally she said gently, “If you will let go of my feet, I will come down myself.”

    Later asbestos coils were introduced into the campaign. Thisfrom the police point of viewwas more annoying than the kerosene-soaked logs; for they were compact to carry, easy to handle, difficult to put out, and they lasted a long, long time.

    Another picture the Woman's Party likes to draw is of Mildred Morris starting asbestos coils. With her nimbus of flaming hair, Miss Morris seemed a flame herself. She was here, there, everywhere. The police could no more catch up with her than they could with a squirrel. One night, with the assistance of two others, sheunbelievablyfastened some asbestos coils among the White House trees; but to her everlasting regret the guards found them before the illumination could begin.

    The stories they tell about arrests at this time are endless. Little Julia Emory, who was arrested thirty-four times, is a repository of lore on this subject.

    They were a great trial to the policethe arrests of these later months. While under detention, the pickets used to organize impromptu entertainments. This was during the period, when at their trials, the Suffragists would answer no questions and the court authorities were put to it to establish their identities. They related with great glee how in his efforts to prove Annie Arniel's identity, a policeman described one of their concerts in court.

    And then, your Honor, that one there said, “We'll now have a comb solo from a distinguished combist, who has played before all the crowned heads of Europe, Annie Arniel,” and then, your Honor, the defendant got up and played a tune on a comb.

    When, for instance, Suffragists refused bail, the police did not like to hold them overnight because it was such an expense to the District of Columbia to feed them. Julia 473Emory describes one evening when a roomful of them, arrested, and having refused to put up bail, were waiting the will of the powers. During this wait, which lasted several hours, they entertained themselves by singing.

    Once a policeman came in:

    “Will you pay your bail if we put it at twenty-five dollars?”

    “No,” answered the pickets promptly.

    He went out, but later he returned.

    “Will you pay your bail if we put it at five dollars?”


    “Then march out.”

    But those light moments were only foam thrown up from serious and sometimes desperate times. When a crowd of ex-pickets gather together and indulge in reminiscences, extraordinary revelations occur. Looking at their faces and estimating their youth, one wonders at a world which permitted one per cent of these things to happen.

    And as for their experiences with the mobs Not the least of the psychological factors in the situation was the slow growth of the crowds; the circle of little boys who gathered about them first, spitting at them, calling them names, making personal comments; then the gathering gangs of young hoodlums who encouraged the boys to further insults; then more and more crowds; more and more insults; the final struggle.

    Often of course the pickets stood against the White House fence, an enormous mob packed in front of them, with the knowledge that police protectionaccording to the orders of the daymight be given them or might not Sometimes that crowd would edge nearer and nearer until there was but a foot of smothering, terror-fraught space between them and the pickets. Literally those women felt they had their backs to the wall. Occasionally they had to mount the stone coping! Always too they feared that any sudden movement within the packed, slowly approaching hostile crowd might foam into violence. 474Occasionally, when the police followed orders to protect the pickets, violent things happened to people in the crowd. Catherine Flanagan saw a plain-clothes man hit six sailors over the head in succession with a billy. They went down like nine pins. Yet when after hours of a seemingly impressive waiting the actual struggle camesomethingsome spiritual courage bigger than themselvesimpelled them to hold on to their banner poles to the last gasp. They were big in circumferencethose banner polesbut the girls clutched them so tightly that often it took three policemen to wrench them away. Catherine Flanagan had deep gashes on the inside of her palms where her own nails had penetrated her flesh and great wounds on the outside of her hands where the policemen had dug their nails into them. Virginia Arnold's hands and arms were torn as though in a struggle with some wild beast.

    Yet, I repeat, Headquarters saw its lighter moments even in those most troubled times. And during those most troubled times, that gay spirit of youth managed to maintain itself. The onlookers marveled at it. But it was only because it was a spiritual qualityyouth of the soul, in addition to youth of the bodythat it could endure. During the course of the eight years of its history, the members of the Woman's Party had been subjected to disillusion after disillusion. The older ones among them bore this succession of shocks with that philosophy which a long experience in public affairs engenders. But the younger onesbelieving at first, as youth always believes, in the eternal verities, and in their eternal prevalencewitnessed faith-shaking sights and underwent even more faith-shaking experiences.

    In their contact with public men, they saw such a man as Borah for instanceperhaps the chief of the Knights of the Double Crossgive the Woman's Party what virtually amounted to his pledged word to support the Amendment and then coolly repudiate it. They saw Moses of New Hampshire play a quibbling trick on them which involved 475them in weeks of the hardest kind of work only calmly to ignore his own pledge at the end. They contended with such differing personalities as the cold, cultured mind, immutably set in the conventions of a past generation, of Henry Cabot Lodge; the unfairness, or fatuity, or brutality of such men as Penrose of Pennsylvania, Thomas of Colorado, Wadsworth of New York, Reed of Missouri, Brandegee of Connecticut, Hoke Smith of Georgia.

    When the picketing began, they saw outside forces get their Headquarters from them; saw them influence scores of property owners sometimes after an advance rent had been paid, not to let houses to them; saw them try to influence the people who gave money, to withhold such financial support; saw them try to influence the newspapers to be less impartial in their descriptions of Woman's Party activities. As the picketing went on and the burning of the President's words and the Watchfires succeeded itwhile they were exercising their inalienable right of peaceful protestthey knew the experience of being harried by mobs at the very door of the President of the United States; harried while the President passed in his carriage through their midst; later to be harried in collaboration by both mobs and police. Under arrest and in prison, they underwent experiences which no one of them would have believed possible of the greatest republic in the world. They were held incommunicado; they could see neither counsel nor Party members. They were offered food filled with worms. They were submitted to incredible brutalities.

    And yet, I have said that spirit of youth prevailed. It prevailed because they were speaking for their generation. They developed a sense of devotion to their ideal of freedom which would have stopped short of no personal sacrifice, not death itself. They developed a sense of comradeship for each other which was half love, half admiration and all reverence. In summing up a fellow worker, they 476speak first of her “spirit,” and her “spirit” is always beautiful, or noble, or glorious, or some such youth-loved word.

    Once, when one party of pickets, about to leave Occoquan, was in the dining-room, a fresh group, just sentenced, were brought into luncheon and placed at another table. Conversation was not permitted. Not a word was spoken, but with one accord the released pickets raised their water-glasses high, then lowered them and drank to their comrades.

    Yes, that was their strengthspirit of youth. Lavinia Dock said, “The young are at the gates.” The young stormed those gates and finally forced them open. They entered. And leaving behind all sinister remembrance of the battle, they turned their faces towards the morning.

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