Alice Paul - Occoquan Workhouse

Protesting the treatment of women, and still advocating for women's suffrage by reminding President Wilson of his own words (applied in a different context), Alice Paul is arrested and sent to Occoquan Workhouse.  She joins other prisoners, including:

  • Pauline Adams (wearing prison clothes in this Library of Congress photo);
  • Rose Winslow (born Ruza Wenclawska, in Poland, and played by Vera Farmiga in "Iron-Jawed Angels"). 

While imprisoned, Rosa participates in a hunger strike.  She is able to write notes on scraps of paper which are smuggled out to her husband and friends.  In her 1920 book, Jailed for Freedom, Doris Stevens quotes some of those messages, including this one:

Yesterday was a bad day for me in feeding. I was vomiting continuously during the process. The tube has developed an irritation somewhere that is painful. 

Never was there a sentence like ours for such an offense as ours, even in England.  No woman ever got it over there even for tearing down buildings.  And during all that agitation we were busy saying that never would such things happen in the United States.  The men told us they would not endure such frightfulness.  (Doris Stevens, Jailed for Freedom - quoting from a scrap of paper which Rose Winslow wrote while imprisoned with Alice Paul - page 190.)

Alice's life, at the Occoquan Workhouse, is about to get even more miserable.

See, also:

Alice Paul - Chairman of the Congressional Committee

Alice Paul and Lucy Burns - Building the Base

Suffragette Parade - March 13, 1913

Success and Resistance - Alice Paul Keeps Fighting

Breaking Ranks within the Women's Movement

Lucy Burns - Let's Picket the White House

Lucy Burns and Alice Paul - Advocates for Women


Lucy Burns - Imprisoned at the Occoquan Workhouse


Alice Paul - Force Feeding at Occoquan Workhouse

Victory - The 19th Amendment is Ratified

Credits

Clip from "Iron-Jawed Angels" (2004), an HBO film about suffragettes fighting for a constitutional amendment, giving American women the right to vote. 

Clips online, courtesy HBO and YouTube.  All copyrights/ownership rights belong to HBO.  Provided here as "fair use" for educational purposes and to acquaint new viewers with the program.

Director:

Katja von Garnier

Producers:
Len Amato
Lydia Dean Pilcher
Robin Forman
Paula Weinstein

Writers:
Sally Robinson
Eugenia Bostwick-Singer
Raymond Singer
Jennifer Friedes

Starring:

Hilary Swank - Alice Paul
Frances O'Connor - Lucy Burns
Molly Parker - Emily Leighton (a fictional character portrayed as a senator's wife)
Laura Fraser - Doris Stevens
Lois Smith - Rev. Dr. Anna Howard Shaw
Vera Farmiga - Ruza Wenclawska (also known as Rose Winslow)
Brooke Smith - Mabel Vernon
Patrick Dempsey - Ben Weissman (a fictional character)
Julia Ormond - Inez Milholland
Adilah Barnes - Ida Wells-Barnett
Anjelica Huston - Carrie Chapman Catt

Music:
Reinhold Heil
Johnny Klimek

Cinematography:
Robbie Greenberg

Editing:
Hans Funck

Distributor:
HBO Films

Release date:
February 15, 2004

Running time:
125 minutes

Quoted passages from an article by Sheridan Harvey, online at the Library of Congress - American Memory - web site.

For more details about this period of American history, as women struggled for the right to vote, see this American Memory story (in PDF format) from the Library of Congress.

 

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