By Deena Rosenblatt and Seham Sebiti
Undergraduates, University of Maryland
Anna Louise Kuhn was born on April 13, 1859, in Baltimore, Maryland. She attended Scheibs School and ultimately graduated from Western High School in 1879. Kuhn attended Baltimore Medical College and, in 1883, was the first woman to graduate in Medicine. Dr. Kuhn practiced as a gynecologist in Baltimore on 618 North Calvert Street. Kuhn’s name is featured in several medical journals. Sources indicate that she was never married and died on October 6, 1934.
Kuhn was one of 47 women arrested for burning the President’s words in front of Lafayette Monument in Washington on August 6, 1917. Kuhn along with the other women were ordered to appear in court the next day at nine-thirty a.m., but when their lawyer arrived, he told them that the case was postponed for a week. Sources suggest Anna Kuhn was arrested for “climbing the statue.” During the arrest, suffragist Hazel Hunkins did not allow police officers to take the American Flag, which she had been carrying with her. Hazel was able to keep the flag with her even in the municipal building. After all the women were released from prison on bail, they marched back in an unbroken line behind Hazel as she held the flag. Sources suggest Kuhn was one of these marching ladies.
On November 10, 1917 Kuhn was arrested for picketing and sentenced to 30 days in jail. Kuhn actually experienced sadness after her release from prison. Kuhn is quoted saying that she “felt lonely and desolate after returning home from jail, missing the fellowship of her fellow suffragists.”
On December 15, 1918, Dr. Anna Kuhn was one of 26 suffragists to receive pins from the National Woman’s Party as a form of tribute commemorating their time in prison. This ceremony occurred at a mass meeting as a form of a protest for the inability to pass the suffrage bill. The 26 women received prison pins, which were miniature duplicates of the prison cell doors, from Mrs. Toscan Bennett of Hartford, Connecticut and were escorted across the stage by women of other free countries. The foreign women carried their national banner across the stage to a national medley while the prisoners carried the traditional white, purple, and gold banner to the “Battle of Republic Hymn.”
The information on Anna Kuhn’s birth was found in the family search website: https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:M3KF-234 For her death see: https://familysearch.org/search/collection/results?count=20&query=%2Bgivenname%3A%22Anna%20L%22~%20%2Bsurname%3AKuhn~%20%2Bother_place%3ABaltimore~&collection_id=1542664 The quote regarding how Anna Kuhn felt after being released is in Linda G. Ford, Iron Jawed Angels, p. 216.
For Anna Kuhn’s profession, see the University Register of Johns Hopkins University online at https://books.google.com/books?id=sJpGAQAAMAAJ&pg=PA32&lpg=PA32&dq=anna+l.+kuhn+baltimore+medical+college&source=bl&ots=jKz52KsTO5&sig=MyOf9YUBT8_9EuRoj9ri0-qjjWs&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjWooT7wp3MAhXFlh4KHWrZA8YQ6AEIHDAA#v=onepage&q=anna%20l.%20kuhn%20baltimore%20medical%20college&f=false. Anna Kuhn’s arrest and the names of those arrested along with her can be found in Inez Haynes Irwin, The Story of the Woman’s Party, pp. 356-57. Information regarding the number of days Anna Kuhn was sentenced to prison, the reason why she was sentenced to prison as well as the date she was sentenced to prison can be found in Doris Stevens, Jailed for Freedom (New York: Boni and Liveright, 1920), p. 363. Information regarding the recognition Anna Kuhn received from the National Woman’s Party can be found in “26 Suffragists To Get Tribute,” Washington Herald, December 15, 1918.