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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Capitol Hill in Washington, District of Columbia — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

From June to December, 1917

The Occoquan Steps

 
 
From June to December, 1917 Marker image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, October 12, 2013
1. From June to December, 1917 Marker
Inscription. From June to December 1917 members of the National Woman's Party were imprisoned for picketing the White House to publicize the struggle to win the vote for Women. Those incarcerated in the District of Columbia's workhouse in Occoquan, Virginia suffered horrible conditions and mistreatment, including being given rancid, insect-laden food; to protest some went on hunger strikes and were brutally force-fed. The 72 year campaign for women's suffrage ended in 1920 with the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

These Concrete entrance steps are the only two architectural elements remaining from the demolished women's workhouse.
 
Erected by The National Woman's Party.
 
Location. 38° 53.528′ N, 77° 0.236′ W. Marker is in Capitol Hill, District of Columbia, in Washington. Marker is at the intersection of Constitution Avenue (U.S. 1a) and Second Street, Northeast when traveling west on Constitution Avenue. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Washington DC 20002, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Sewall-Belmont House & Museum (here, next to this marker); Residence of Albert Gallatin (a few steps from this marker); Alva Belmont House
From June to December, 1917 Marker image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, August 18, 2012
2. From June to December, 1917 Marker
(a few steps from this marker); Fiery Destruction (within shouting distance of this marker); Cortelyou House (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); The Old Brick Capitol (about 700 feet away); United States Capitol (approx. 0.2 miles away); Frederick Douglass (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Capitol Hill.
 
Related marker. Click here for another marker that is related to this marker.
 
Categories. Civil RightsPolitics
 
Marker in front of the Steps of the Occoquan Workhouse image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, January 18, 2014
3. Marker in front of the Steps of the Occoquan Workhouse
The Occoquan Steps were a gift to the Sewall-Belmont House & Museum from the Lorton Historical Society in 1998.
We Demand... image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, October 12, 2013
4. We Demand...
We Demand that the American Government give Alice Paul a political offender the privileges Russia gave Miyukoff

To Ask Freedom for women is not a crime. Suffrage prisoners should not be treated as criminals
Close-up of photo on marker
Suffragists in the Occoquan Workhouse image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, October 12, 2013
5. Suffragists in the Occoquan Workhouse
Close-up of photo on marker
Hunger Strikers image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, October 12, 2013
6. Hunger Strikers
Rose Winslow organized a hunger strike at the Occoquan Workhouse. The strikers were brutally force-fed three times a day.
"All the officers here know we are making this hunger strike that women fighting for liberty may be considered political prisoners; we have told them. God knows we don't want other women ever to have to do this again." -- Rose Winslow, November 1917.
Close-up of photo on marker
Dora Lewis, Louise Rowe and Abby Scott Baker image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, August 18, 2012
7. Dora Lewis, Louise Rowe and Abby Scott Baker
Dora Lewis (center), physically supported by Clara Louise Rowe (left) and Abby Scott Baker (right), upon her release from District Jail, where she participated in a hunger strike, August 1918.Lewis was arrested a total of four times between 1917 and 1919.
Close-up of photo on marker
The Occoquan Steps image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, January 18, 2014
8. The Occoquan Steps
The Occoquan Steps image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, January 18, 2014
9. The Occoquan Steps
The Jailhouse Key image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, January 18, 2014
10. The Jailhouse Key
This skeleton key was smuggled out of the D.C. Jail at Occoquan. It is on display in the Sewall-Belmont House and Museum.
<u>The Suffragist</u>, July 7, 1917 image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, January 18, 2014
11. The Suffragist, July 7, 1917
Don't You Know Better Than to Tell the Truth in Washington?
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on January 24, 2017. This page originally submitted on January 19, 2014, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. This page has been viewed 608 times since then and 51 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11. submitted on January 19, 2014, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
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