Mary Garrett Hay to Maud Wood Park, 2-26-19

Document Ten: Mary Garrett Hay to Maud Wood Park, New York, New York, 26 February 1919, Woman's Rights Collection, Mary Garrett Hay Series, Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe College (Women's Studies Manuscript Collections microfilm, part B: New York, reel 1, frame 460).

Introduction

   In this confidential letter to Maud Wood Park, Mary Garret Hay discussed her strategy with regard to the election of Congreeman Gillett, heretofore an opponent of woman suffrage, as the new Speaker of the House. She discouraged suffragists from trying to prevent his elestion and considered various tactics for bringing him into the suffrage camp, and expressed her confidence in the New York Congressional delegation as a way of getting to Gillett.

NEW YORK WOMAN SUFFRAGE PARTY
_________________________

 MRS. F. LOUIS SLADE  
 FIRST VICE-CHAIRMAN

WOMAN SUFFRAGE PARTY 

BRONX BOROUGH 
MRS. DANIEL A. PALMER, CHAIRMAN
 MRS. MARGARET CHANLER ALDRICH   SECOND VICE-CHAIRMAN

 OF THE CITY OF NEW YORK

MRS. LOUIS WELTMILLER, DIRECTOR 
BROOKLYN BOROUGH
 MRS GEORGE NOTMAN 
THIRD VICE-CHAIRMAN
_______
MRS. H. EDWARD DREIER, CHAIRMAN 
MRS. ALICE PARKER HUTCHINS, DIRECTOR
MISS ANNIE DOUGHTY 
FOURTH VICE-CHAIRMAN

MRS. CARRIE CHAPMAN CATT HONORARY CHAIRMAN

MANHATTEN BOROUGH 
MRS. CHARLES L. TIFFANY, CHAIRMAN
 MRS. F. ROBERTSON JONES 
FIFTH VICE-CHAIRMAN

MISS MARY GARRETT HAY CHAIRMAN

DR. KATHERINE B. DAVIS, DIRECTOR 
QUEENS BOROUGH
 MRS. THOMAS BUCKLIN WELLS 
RECORDING SECRETARY

CITY HEADQUARTERS

  MRS. DAVID R. RODGER, CHAIRMAN 
 MISS ELIZA MACDONALD, DIRECTOR
 MISS ADALINE W. STERLING 
CORRESPONDING SECRETARY

373 5TH AVENUE

RICHMOND BOROUGH 
MRS. WILLIAM G. WILLCOX, CHAIRMAN
 MRS. HERBERT L. PRATT 
TREASURER

6310 TELEPHONE 6311 MURRAY HILL

 MRS. CHAS. SIMONSON, DIRECTOR 
 

    NEW YORK. Feb. 26, 1919.

Mrs. Maud Wood Park,
1626 Rhode Island Avenue,
Washington, D.C.

My dear Mrs. Park:

    I told you I did not think it a wise thing for us, as suffragists, to try to defeat Gillett![A]  Weeks ago I knew he would likely be elected, and so, quietly, I started in to see if he could be pledged to us without any publicity in the matter. I wrote to Congressmen Rowe  of Brooklyn, Luther Mott of New York State, Burt Snell of New York State and Mr. Dempsey of Up-State.[B] I told them that as a large part of their constituency was composed of women, they had no right to vote for a man as speaker, unless he would agree to help us with the Federal Amendment, as it was now certain that we would have to go back to the House. I asked them to see Mr. Gillett and let me know the result. I had answers from all of them and they all say about the same thing. I quote as follows:

"1. He says that he did not speak against Woman Suffrage, but voted against it because his State and Congressional District were against Woman Suffrage.

2. If elected Speaker he certainly would not in any way oppose Woman Suffrage nor would he delay its consideration in the House.

3. He is not at heart an opponent of Woman Suffrage but quite the other way."

    Each one of them closes his letter by saying "Confidentially, I think if Mr. Gillett is elected Speaker, he will vote for the Suffrage Amendment" and Mr. F. W. Rowe said that he would take it upon himself to see that he voted correctly.

    We will only stir up a mess in the Republican Party if we get into this fight, and besides that, we would not accomplish anything. I felt the best thing to do was to set my New York men to conferring with Gillett, and I have just told you the result. I trust the New York men. I know them and they are men of their word: at least, they have always been so with me in the past.

    I do not know Congressman Mondell and do not feel that I have any right to butt in on this after the New York men were so active in doing what I asked them.[C] However, I have written to-day to Mr. Rowe and also to Luther Mott and told them that I am counting on them to stand firm and strong on the suffrage issue and I know they will.

    I do not expect Lodge and Penrose to organize the Senate and I know they are not organizing the House.[D] I think I am right in this, Maud, for I know the inside of what Republicans are doing and the troubles they are having on other things. Mr. Hays told me two or three days ago when he returned from Washington, that Gillett would not hinder but would help to put through the Suffrage Amendment. They have all seen him, and their influence is worth much more than mine.

    As near as I can see from the paper, Campbell of Kansas coming out for the speakership, is the West against the East.[E] I am sorry to see it. If he had come out a long while ago, it would have been all right; but he should have done so before Mr. Hays went down there.

    This letter is confidential. I ought to have written this to you several days ago, but as the pickets are arranging for a big meeting here on the tenth, I realize that something had to be done to get ahead of them, and so I have moved heaven and earth to get up this luncheon for the seventh. I tell you it takes work and every minute of my waking hours, I have been rushed.  

Hastily yours,
Mary G Hay
Chairman.

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A.  Senator Frederick Gillett was a Republican representing Massachusetts. He served as a Congressman from 1893-1925, and as Speaker from 1919-1925. In 1925, he became a Senator, serving until 1931.

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B.  Congressman Frederick Rowe was a Republican representing New York. He served in the House from 1915-1921. Congressman Luther Mott was a Republican representing New York. He served in the House from 1911-1923. Congressman Bertrand Snell was a Republican representing New York. He served in the House from 1915-1939. Congressman Stephen Dempsey was a Republican representing New York. He served in the House from 1915-1931.

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C. Congressman Franklin Mondell was a Republican representing New York. He served in the House from 1895-1897 and 1899-1923. He was also House majority leader from 1919-1923.

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D. Senator Henry Lodge, Sr. was a Republican representing Massachusetts. He served in the Senate from 1893-1924. Senator Boies Penrose was a Republican representing Pennsylvania. He served in the Senate from 1897-1921.

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E. Congressman Philip Campbell was a Kansas Republican who served in the House from 1903 to 1923.

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