The Ticonderoga Historical Society is set to open its 2018 season with a free program and exhibit opening on Friday, April 20 at 7 pm at the Hancock House, 6 Moses Circle.
“Imprisoned for the Cause” will look at the arrest, imprisonment and inhumane treatment of women peacefully protesting for women’s suffrage in 1917.
In January of 1917, a group of “Silent Sentinels” began standing outside the gates of the White House, hoping to convince President Woodrow Wilson to back the proposed suffrage amendment to the Constitution. Holding picket signs that asked, “Mr. President, what will you do for Woman Suffrage?” and “How Long Must Women Wait for Liberty?” the women endured insults and harassment from those passing by.
Between June and November 1917, 218 protestors from 26 states were arrested and charged with “obstructing sidewalk traffic” outside the White House gates. Included among that group was Vida Milholland, sister of Inez and daughter of former Ticonderoga Sentinel publisher John Milholland.
The suffragettes endured imprisonment under inhumane conditions, government threats and force feedings in response to hunger strikes. Unfavorable publicity generated by the media sparked public outcry over the treatment of the women and President Wilson finally lent his support to the suffrage amendment in January 1918.
For more information on the Ticonderoga Historical Society, visit their website.
Photo of Suffragettes Picketing White House.