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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Mabel Pollitzer, September 19, 1973. Interview G-0047-1. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Joining the movement for women's suffrage by way of the National Woman's Party

Pollitzer links her initial involvement in issues of women's rights to the formation of the National Woman's Party in 1913. Pollitzer explains that both Susan Pringle Frost and Alice Paul offered especially appealing messages regarding the importance of pursuing women's suffrage as a national amendment, rather that earning the right to vote state by state. For this reason, Pollitzer explains that she aligned herself with that part of the movement and continued to become more involved in issues of women's rights from then on.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Mabel Pollitzer, September 19, 1973. Interview G-0047-1. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) in the Southern Oral History Program Collection, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Full Text of the Excerpt

CONSTANCE MYERS:
What I'm trying to do is to discover what triggered your interest and dedication to the cause of women's rights.
MABEL POLLITZER:
Dear, I think it was Alice Paul. When she founded the National Women's Party on January 2, 1913, and later my sister Anita's involvement
CONSTANCE MYERS:
But how did you know she was even doing it?
MABEL POLLITZER:
Susan Pringle Frost was such a wonderful woman in Charleston, South Carolina who was chairman first of the Equal Suffrage League and then The Congressional Union, then split later on. * Some wanted Suffrage to come state by state, and not by the Federal Amendment. As I said, some didn't want picketing and some wanted to belong to the National American Woman Suffrage Association. Carrie and I and Anita felt definitely we wanted to belong to the group that had split from the National American Women's organization, this group led by Alice Paul. Marvelous woman! No one can conceive of the greatness of Alice Paul. Not only her training. Her marvelous Quaker background. Her cause for what was right. Her inspiration as a leader. Her wisdom and intelligence. And just add to that every good quality and wonderful thing you can think of. We felt that getting it state by state, as presented by Susan Pringle Frost through Alice Paul, would be a great mistake. It would delay it for years. And as I said before, one legislature could undo the good work of a preceding group of legislators.