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How to Use the Images

 

Inquiry Question

Historical Context

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Photo 1
Photo 2 and 3
Photo 4
Photo 6
Illustration 1


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Visual Evidence

Photo 5: Alice Paul leads pickets out of National Woman’s Party headquarters, October 1917

[Photo 5] with link to larger version of photo.
(Women of Protest: Photographs from the Records of the National Woman’s Party, Manuscript Division, Library of Congress; Harris & Ewing, photographer)


Questions for Photo 5

1. On October 19, 1917, the police announced that pickets arrested after that date could expect to be sentenced to jail for up to six months. This photo shows Alice Paul, the leader of the National Woman’s Party (NWP), leading a group of pickets to take up their positions at the White House on the next day. Look carefully at the expression on Paul’s face. What do you think that tells you about how she reacted to the police announcement?

2.
Alice Paul was arrested and sentenced to seven months at the Occoquan Workhouse, the longest term ever handed down. While she was there, she demanded to be treated as a political prisoner. Look up the definition of “political prisoner.” Why do you think that is how she wanted to be recognized? Do you think she and the other pickets sent to jail fit the definition?

3.
When Alice Paul’s demand for political prisoner status was denied, she began a hunger strike. The prison authorities force-fed her three times a day for three weeks. This involved pushing a tube down her throat and pouring liquid food directly into her stomach. What do you think this would have been like? Paul was transferred to the psychiatric ward at the District of Columbia jail later for “evaluation.” Why do you think the prison authorities might have done that?

4.
Read the slogan on Alice Paul’s banner. Explain in your own words what you think it means. The slogan is quoted from one of President Wilson’s own speeches. The NWP often used such quotations on their banners. Why do you think they might have done that?

Click for a larger version of Photo 5.

 

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