Document 14: Letter from Patty [Martha Davis] to Mrs. [Dora] Lewis, 29 January 1921, The National Woman's Party Papers, 1913-1974, Library of Congress (Microfilm (1979), reel 6).
The following letter, written by a grand daughter of Lucretia Mott to an NWP staff member, demonstrates the continuing pressure on the Party to acknowledge the longstanding tradition that had joined the movements for women's suffrage and equal rights for African Americans. As Lucretia Mott was one of the founding mothers to be honored at the Capitol ceremony, this descendant suggests that an African American woman participate in the festivities in a formal capacity.
117 East 31st Street
New York City
Dear Mrs. Lewis,[A]
I have your letter of the 28th telling about May Mott's "Mott indifference" as its always known in the family. Of course arrange any substitute for me you like. I don't know how it would do in so southern a city as Washington, but I think the most appropriate person would be the colored woman you mentioned. Since her name is the same and grandmother Mott was even more closely identified with anti slavery than with the woman movement I think it would be by far the most fitting thing to do. Also it would make good publicity if you want to look at it in that light. She could easily be dressed in drab Quaker dress and bonnet (don't for Heaven's sake let her wear white!) and I think it would be terribly nice, don't you? My brother heartily approves, & I think all the "descendants" would too since most of them are actively interested in the colored question. If there's any blame, I'll steady it. Of course you and Miss Paul will do what's best but there's my sentiments. Use me any way you want.
A. Mrs. Dora Kelley Lewis, a long time ally of Alice Paul, was a member of the NWP Executive Committee. For a period, she was NWP treasurer.
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B. "Patty" was certainly Martha Davis, as she was responding to a letter of 28 January 1921 addressed to her full name from Dora Lewis.
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