Biographical Database of Militant Woman Suffragists, 1913-1920
 
Biography of L.J.C. Daniels (Lucy Joslyn Cutler), aka Lou Daniels
and Lucy C. Daniels, 1858-1949

 

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By Jill Zahniser
Independent Scholar

Suffragist.

Link to NWP Database

Lucy Daniels was born in Grafton, Vermont into the family of Francis Daniels, a speculator-turned-farmer, and Lucy Barrett. Of six children, only the two girls, Lucy and Susan, remained in Grafton as adults. Lucy attended law school at New York University, graduating in 1896, and returned to Grafton to live near her sister. In 1900, the four Daniels brothers relinquished their claim to family property to move west; the sisters were left with a comfortable inheritance, which they invested to great benefit. They remained prominent members of the Grafton community.

Lucy was an avid suffragist involved with the National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA) and her state's suffrage movement. In 1911, both she and her sister decided to protest their lack of municipal suffrage by refusing to pay their taxes. The response of the town was to sell off bank stock the sisters owned to recoup the lost tax dollars. Both Lucy and Susan left Grafton as a result, but apparently returned at a later date to their hometown.

When questions arose whether black women would march in the 1913 suffrage parade in Washington, D.C., Daniels was one of those who challenged NAWSA and parade organizer Alice Paul to vigorously recruit African American women; Daniels offered NAWSA $50 if one hundred black women joined the march ($60 if they could have their own float). Paul, who was already recruiting black marchers when protests arose about their inclusion, declined Daniels's offer. Paul and NAWSA officials did push back on suffragists who wanted black women barred from the event; a compromise was reached to sign up any black applicants but not engage in further recruiting. Ultimately, fifty African American women marched in the procession. Daniels marched as well.

In November 1917, Lucy traveled to Washington to join the "Silent Sentinels" protesting women's disenfranchisement at the White House gates. She was arrested and jailed as a result; she later participated in similar demonstrations in November 1918 and January 1919, as well as a 1919 Boston protest when President Wilson returned from Europe through that city. Daniels was arrested a total of four times and endured jail four times as well.

Daniels's trail is faint after 1920. She sold her property to her sister in 1932 and left Grafton permanently. She died in 1949.

Sources:

A biographical sketch of the Daniels sisters' town residency is included in the Grafton Village historic site application at http://accd.vermont.gov/sites/accd/files/Documents/strongcommunities/historic/GraftonVillageHD.pdf. Daniels's law graduation is noted in "Women Law Graduates: New York University Awards 47 Diplomas," New York Times, 30 Apr 1896, 8. The published Proceedings of the 35th Annual Convention (NAWSA, 1903) notes Daniels' participation in the 1903 NAWSA convention. The consequence of the Danielses' tax protest is described in "Women's Bank Stock Sold," Vermont Phoenix, 17 Nov 1911, 3. Deborah P. Clifton describes the Daniels sisters' tax protest in the context of the state's suffrage movement in "The Drive for Women's Municipal Suffrage in Vermont, 1883-1917," Vermont History 47:3 (Summer 1979), 183-86. Doris Stevens's Jailed for Freedom (New York: Boni & Liveright, 1920) notes Daniels's stint as a picket in 1917. Inez Irwin's The Story of Alice Paul and the Woman's Party (Fairfax, VA: Denlinger's, 1977) lists "Lucy Daniels," "L.J.C. Daniels," and "Lou Daniels," probably all the same person. For a discussion of blacks’participation in the 1913 suffrage parade in Washington, D.C., see J.D. Zahniser & Amelia R. Fry, Alice Paul: Claiming Power (Oxford, 2014/2019), pp. 137-141; that treatment draws on L.J.C. Daniels to Emma Gillett, 5 Feb 1913 & Daniels to Parade Committee, 10 Feb 1913; both Reel 1, NWP Papers: The Suffrage Years. See also Linda G. Ford, Iron-Jawed Angels: The Suffrage Militancy of the National Woman's Party, 1912-1920 (Lanham, Md.: University Press of America, 1991), p. 111.

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