Alice Paul from Harriot Blatch, 1920 Document 7a:  Letter from Harriot Stanton Blatch to Alice Paul, 20 December 1920.

Document 7b:  Letter From Mary White Ovington to Harriot Stanton Blatch, 3 December 1920.

National Woman's Party Papers, 1913-1974, Library of Congress (Microfilm (1979), reel 5).


Harriot Stanton Blatch joined the group lobbying Alice Paul for the inclusion of an African American, Mary B. Talbert, on the platform at the NWP event planned for Washington on February 15, 1921. She encloses a letter from Mary White Ovington, a white founder of the NAACP, who makes a strong case for the importance of standing firmly in support of voting rights for African-American women in the South.


106 East Fifty-Second Street

                  NY Dec 20, 1920

My Dear Miss Paul:

I enclose a letter from Miss Ovington which explains itself. It seems to me it would be a very splendid thing for the Woman's Party at its celebration in February, if it acceded to Miss Ovington's request.

May I note here two items in reference to the misunderstanding between us? The ten thousand dollars for the Bust Fund was not merely referred to by Mrs Lewis in June. You suggested the day that we went to Mrs Belmonts, that I make an appeal for the money but we both concluded that the single appeal to wipe out the actual debt of the Woman's Party was sufficient on that occasion. Also on Wednesday evening September 15th, when you dined with me at the Women's University Club, you came for the express purpose of discussing with me some of the details of the Bust celebration and on that occasion also, then thousand dollars was mentioned as the desired goal and it was then that you spoke of as "seeming rather large."

With every good wish for the success of the occasion, believe me,

              Very Truly yours,

                Harriot Stanton Blatch

National Association For The Advancement Of Colored People

70 Fifth Avenue, New York

Telephone Watkins 8098

                  December 3, 1920

Mrs. Harriot Stanton Blatch,
15 West 91st. Street,
New York City, N.Y.

My Dear Mrs. Blatch:

I am writing to you as an advisory member of the National Woman's Party asking if you will arrange that at the meeting, February fifteenth, a colored women be invited to speak. I would suggest as the speaker, Mrs. Mary B. Talbert, until last June president of the Federation of Colored Women, and this summer one of the ten official members of the International Council of Women met at Christiana. Mrs. Talbert is able, liberal in thought, and perhaps the best known colored woman in the United States today.

There was little voting and much terrorizing of Negroes in the South during the past elections and at Ocoee, Florida, there was a massacre. But equally sinister was the refusing to register women at such a place as Hampton, Virginia, where Hampton Institute has through many years endeavored to maintain kindly feeling between the two races, and yet where colored women were so insulted when they attempted to register, that one woman said, "I could kill the clerk who questioned me; I could kill his wife and children."

If the South means to awaken a spirit like this it will eventually have war to face. But I believe that the Negro woman can win her right to vote if she is upheld by the rest of the country. The thinking southern woman is generally more fairminded than the southern man, but she cannot secure justice for the colored woman without she has the backing of all of us.

Will you not therefore, endeavor to have a committee appointed out of your great meeting in February which shall investigate and take some action regarding the status of the colored woman? The Woman's Party must have in its membership, South as well as North, women of broad enough vision and deep enough purpose to attack this problem. And if the women attack it, it will be solved.

Hoping that you will do something in this matter, I am,

            Very Sincerely yours,

                    Mary White Ovington