Document 23: Letter from Alice Paul to Miss L. J. C. Daniels, 25 August 1924, National Woman's Party Papers, 1913-1974, Library of Congress (Microfilm (1979), reel 28) .
With the appearance of newspaper stories about the Milholland memorial service, a debate emerged as to Milholland's defense of the participation of Black women in suffrage marches. In this debate, the National Woman's Party asserted their commitment to equal rights for all women. Alice Paul's letter to L.J.C. Daniels was part of the party's effort to counter the bad publicity generated by the first accounts of the Milholland service.
In her letter, Paul argued that Black women had never been barred from suffrage processions and indicated that permitting equal participation of African Americans had always been party policy. It is telling, nonetheless, that a number of participants remembered Milholland's role as they did; by implication they called into question the NWP's commitment to the full participation of African Americans in the suffrage campaign.
August 25, 1924.
Miss L.J.C. Daniels,[A]
Dear Miss Daniels:
I have just received the press clipping which you send and your note stating that you are glad to learn of Inez's stand at the time of our first procession.
I am writing to inform you that while Inez Milholland rode at the head of the procession, she had no other connection with it. She did not arrive in Washington until shortly before the procession and never discussed with us any question connected with the procession, excepting the matter of her own horse and costume.
I do not, of course, know whether her father is correctly quoted in the paper when he is made to say "I want to remind you that in the first suffrage parade, Inez herself demanded that the colored women be allowed to march." However, if he ever made this statement, he is misinformed concerning the facts about the suffrage procession, as this incident to which he refers never occurred. I was, as you probably remember, chairman of the committee on arrangements for the suffrage procession in Washington, and if Inez had ever taken up the question of the negroes marching in the procession, I would have necessarily known about it.
As you probably know, there has been no discrimination against negroes in any of our processions and we have always had negro women in the different state and professional delegations. The question of barring negroes altogether or discriminating against them was never considered by the committee in charge of the procession.
I am enclosing a letter I have just written to Mr. Heywood Broun of the New York World, concerning the subject covered in the clipping which you sent.
We were indeed sorry that you were not present for the Conference.
A. This is probably
the suffrage activist, L.G.C. Daniels, who was arrested in October 1918 along
with twenty other women, protesting the refusal of the Senate to pass the
woman suffrage amendment. See Irwin, The Story of Alice Paul, 387.
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