By Laura Koch
Undergraduate student, Simmons College
Born around 1888 in Russia, Pascia P. Warren was one of the militant suffragists arrested at the Boston suffrage protest held by the National Woman’s Party on February 24, 1919. Little is known about her beyond her involvement in this demonstration against President Wilson upon his return from Europe. It is unclear when Warren immigrated to the United States, but she was apparently a naturalized citizen by the time of the 1920 census.
Pascia married Dr. Mortimer Warren (1873-1944) around 1912. He had graduated from Bowdoin College in 1896 and obtained a medical degree from Johns Hopkins (then called the University School of Medicine, Baltimore) in 1900. His first wife, Marie Pendexter, a nurse, died in 1911. After their marriage, the couple resided first in New York and then Maine. According to newspaper and census records, their first son, John P. Warren, was born in 1912 and their second child, Mortimer P. Warren, was born on November 25, 1915.
It is unclear how or when Pascia became involved with the women’s movement, but she was arrested with a group of other suffragists at the 1919 Boston protest and sent to the House of Detention. According to the Boston Globe, Warren was arrested while giving her first ever public speech, described as “timidly delivered.” Along with Elsie Hill and Cerise Carman Jack, Warren was arrested at six o’clock but was “released immediately,” according to The Story of the Woman’s Party. Strangely, however, her trial was not held at the same time as Hill’s and Jack’s. All were tried, found guilty, and given the choice of paying a fine or jail time. All chose jail to gain media attention. It is unclear for how long Warren remained in jail.
Shortly after the Boston protest, Major Mortimer Warren left his job as a physician to serve in World War I, where he was Chief of Medical Service and Commanding Officer of Base Hospital No. 100, in Savenay, France, from April to July of 1919. Little is known about Pascia’s activities during this time, except that she is listed as having donated fifteen dollars to the New Hampshire State Headquarters of the National Woman’s Party in 1919. Her donation suggests that Warren was a member of the NWP.
Pascia Warren remained active in the women’s movement after the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment in 1920, serving on the Portland, Maine Committee of the Woman’s Party in 1928 to support the Equal Rights Amendment. Another member of this committee was Florence Brooks Whitehouse, who also participated in the 1919 Boston protest; this suggests that Warren remained in touch with her fellow suffragists after the demonstration. Warren also appears to have been a member of the Maine Birth Control League, attending the first meeting in 1932.
Dr. Mortimer Warren died in 1944, with no mention of a widow in his obituary. However, it seems that Pascia Warren remained active in the Bowdoin College community, donating art in her husband’s memory in 1950, leaving the date of her own death uncertain.
1920 U.S. Census. “Mortimer Warren.” www.ancestry.com
1920 U.S. Census. “Pascia P. Warren.” www.ancestry.com
1940 U.S. Census. “Pascia P. Warren.” www.ancestry.com
“Back Cover,” The Suffragist 7:26 (1919), 12.
“Commonwealth Versus Jack,” The Suffragist 7:18 (1919), 8.
“Equal Rights Work in New England,” Equal Right 14:3 (1928), 22-23.
Haynes, Inez Gilmore. The Story of the Woman’s Party. New York: Harcourt, Brace, 1921.
Herbert, Kevin. Ancient Art in Bowdoin College. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1964.
“News Notes: Maine,” The Birth Control Review 16 (1932), 282-83.
“Portrait By Lucia Warren Wins Popular Vote At Art Gallery,” Sarasota Herald-Tribune (Sarasota, FL), 18 Mar. 1941.
“Reminding the President when he landed in Boston,” The Suffragist 7:9 (1919), 6-9.
Stevens, Doris. Jailed for Freedom. NY: Boni and Liveright, 1920.